In the latest piece of "stoptober" propaganda, we hear from trading standards in Bradford:
Trading Standards said its latest figures show that in Yorkshire and the Humber, 30 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds had tried smoking at least once and that five per cent were regular smokers.
Yet, when the stings are run there's precious few retailers selling to kids:
While figures from the last 12 months show only one shop in the city was caught selling cigarettes to youngsters in 26 undercover stings, West Yorkshire Trading Standards is urging staff to continue their work to stop underage youngsters picking up the habit.
Now there's a chance that every single 11-15 year old who smokes is going to that one shop but somehow I doubt it. I guess a few are doing what I did and nicking the fags from mum and some others are getting older relatives or friends to buy the fags for them but I'm willing to bet that a fair few youngsters are getting their fags from out the back of a white van:
One-in-five discarded packets were for smuggled cigarettes or were fake brands manufactured for illegal sale – a 100 per cent increase on the results of a similar survey in 2011 which put the figure at 9.5 per cent.
But of course ever rising prices and controls don't encourage smuggling!