PEOPLE are being asked to help protect children from the harmful effects of pocket-money price illegal tobacco.

A campaign aims to increase awareness and encourage fewer people to buy it and urges whistleblowers to report it.

As part of the initiative, run by Somerset County Council and Smokefree South West, the Tackling Illegal Tobacco ad-van toured Taunton, Minehead and other parts of the county this month.

The council’s public health and trading standards officers will be in Taunton town centre, outside Next, to talk about the dangers of tobacco on Friday, July 18.

Cllr Christine Lawrence, chairman of the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board at Somerset County Council, said: “Smoking is a serious public health issue and cheap illegal tobacco just makes it even harder to keep our children away from harm.

“That is why Somerset County Council’s public health and trading standards teams are working together to help tackle the problem.”

Selling illegal tobacco is a criminal offence – you can report it to Devon and Somerset Trading Standards at www.devonsomersetrading anonymously at or call Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.