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High street event to raise awareness of illegal tobacco issue

Date: 07/09/2011           Category: Community Safety

Public health officers were out on the streets of Gillingham this week to highlight the issue of illegal tobacco, talk to shoppers and visitors and raise awareness of issue.

The team were in Gillingham High Street on Monday, 5 September. They will be in Rainham shopping centre on Friday, 9 September.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Cllr Mike O’Brien was also on hand to offer advice and accept pledges from members of the public keen to help crackdown on illegal tobacco.

Cllr O’Brien said: “Many people in Medway don't view illegal tobacco as a problem, but the rise has seen a direct impact on health, crime and the economy and it can only be tackled if everyone plays their part.

“It was encouraging to speak to shoppers in Gillingham and help the public health team raise awareness of the campaign.”

The initiative is a partnership between NHS Medway, Medway Council, Department of Health, trading standards and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – aims to reduce the supply and demand of illegal tobacco.

If you think someone maybe selling illegal tobacco, contact the hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Picture caption: Cllr Mike O'Brien with members of the public health team in Gillingham High Street on Monday, 5 September.