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N E Lincs Council acts to raise awareness of dangers of roll-up cigarettes

North East Lincolnshire Council is raising awareness of the health dangers of roll-up cigarettes, and encouraging smokers across the local area to give up the habit in the New Year as part a new campaign being led by Public Health England

The campaign features hard-hitting new adverts showing a hand-rolled cigarette with rotting flesh instead of tobacco, with the message that ‘smoking rots you from the inside out’. It comes following evidence that many smokers are turning to roll-ups, wrongly convinced that they are less harmful than ‘normal’ cigarettes. New figures show that half of all smokers who use roll ups wrongly believe that they are less harmful than manufactured cigarettes. They are in fact just as hazardous as any other kind of cigarette.

Use of roll-ups has increased significantly in recent years. In 1990, 18 per cent of male smokers and 2 per cent of female smokers said they smoked mainly hand-rolled cigarettes, but by 2013 this had risen to 40 per cent for men and 23 per cent for women.

Many smokers have turned to hand rolled tobacco to reduce the cost of their smoking and this has been supported by the illegal trade in counterfeit and smuggled tobacco in our area. In recent inspections of premises using tobacco sniffer dogs,Trading Standards Officers have seized over 65Kg of counterfeit and smuggled hand rolling tobacco from shops and domestic premises.

Many of these goods are made overseas in premises where hygiene and the quality of materials used may be poor and where there are no requirements to limit tar and other constituents. This adds further to their potential health risks.

Beverley Compton assistant director of adult services and health improvement and chair of North East Lincolnshire Smokefree Alliance said: “The evidence from Public Health England is that all tobacco products are equally harmful to health. We know that two thirds of smokers would like to quit smoking and January is a great time to do so. I would encourage all smokers to ring the Stop Smoking Service and find out how they can help them to quit the habit”