New laws on smoking come into effect today (Thursday) and Cheshire East Council intends to be tough on enforcing measures to protect children and young people.
From today anyone caught smoking in a car carrying a child under 18 or who sells electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to a person under 18, can be prosecuted.
Cheshire East Council is throwing its full weight around the ‘Stoptober’ campaign to encourage smokers to quit the habit.
Cheshire East Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, is urging all Cheshire East residents who smoke to make a determined effort to quit this month during the Public Health England stop smoking campaign.
She said: “Research has shown that quitting even well into middle age will help smokers to avoid most of the risk of developing cancer.
“More than 90 per cent of health risks associated with smoking can be avoided if people give up smoking at a young age.
“We welcome the new legislation aimed at protecting young people from passive smoking and from the risk of becoming tobacco smokers via the route of vapour smoking.
“But above all, we would like to see people kick the habit altogether.”
Cllr Les Gilbert, Cabinet member for communities said: “While it will be the responsibility of the police to take action against motorists, the Council’s enforcement officers will have powers to investigate and prosecute traders selling e-cigarettes to under 18s.
“The jury is still out on the long-term effects of electronic cigarettes and, as a Council we do not wish to see our young people harmed by this practice or taking up tobacco smoking as a result.”
Smokers interested in quitting the habit are urged to call the Freephone number 0800 085 8818 today or visit the Kickstart Cheshire website for further information.
They can also visit the Public Health England web site at www.nhs.uk/smokefree