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Pendle Teenagers Amongst The Heaviest Smokers In The North-West UK

June 25, 2017

The largest survey in the UK into attitudes towards smoking among teens has revealed that Pendle's young people are amongst the heaviest smokers in the North-West.

Nearly 12,000 people, mainly aged 14 to 16, from the region were questioned, with nearly 800 responses coming from Lancashire.

Participants were asked about their attitudes to smoking, how often they smoked and where they got their cigarettes.

Jean Battle, of Lancashire County Council, said: "There is no doubt that smoking is bad for health and it is shocking that so many are starting to smoke at such a young age."

"You really have to ask where young people are able to get cigarettes and why they see smoking as a good choice. Trading Standards are doing their bit to tackle the problem, but traders and the tobacco industry also need to play their part.

"The vast majority of traders in the county follow the rules very strictly and I hope the new legal age of 18 will help sales staff spot illegal purchasers.

"The main aim of the survey was to identify how and where youngsters obtain cigarettes to help plan intelligence-led operations. The findings will now go to Government chiefs to inform future tobacco enforcement strategies."

Lancashire County Council Trading Standards officer David Johnnie said: "We are concerned about the prevalence of smoking among young people and must continue the fight against underage sales, especially as the legal age has risen from 16 to 18.

"Increasingly, as shown by the survey results, young people are buying counterfeit tobacco products. We have had several seizures of counterfeit tobacco products in Lancashire and successful prosecutions against retailers who have failed our test purchasing operations.

"We will continue to pursue those retailers who are either stocking counterfeit tobacco products or selling cigarettes to the under-aged.

"The new age change from 16 to18 is a positive step towards preventing young people from starting to smoke and traders must work hard to make sure the new regulations work."