Under age smokers – and those that help them by buying cigarettes – are being targeted in a new campaign.
Aberdeen City Council chiefs have in the past set up stings to catch rogue shopkeepers in the act of selling cigarettes to minors.
Their efforts have been so successful that under-18s are now turning to adults for help get hold of cigarettes as a favour – prompting the new campaign called Not a Favour.
“Many people have been in that situation where someone asks you to go into the shop for them and buy cigarettes and the campaign is about showing people they are potentially helping people into a life of addiction,” said the council’s senior enforcement officer David Francis.
He added: “The campaign is all about doing what we can to raise awareness of this.”
Posters promoting the campaign have been put up in shops such as WH Smith and Sainsbury’s across the north-east and shopkeepers will hand out information cards to young customers warning of the dangers of smoking.
The city council – along with Aberdeenshire Council – is talking to students at North East Scotland College at three freshers’ fairs events in Aberdeen, Altens and Fraserburgh this week.
Videos showing the consequences of smoking will be played around the college and the message will be promoted on social media under the tagline #notafavour.
Aberdeen City Council’s operational delivery committee convener John Wheeler said: “Trading Standards officers are involved in work that makes a positive impact on the lives of everyone in Aberdeen and the north-east.
“This latest initiative is a fantastic example of that, targeting a very important issue. It’s also a very good demonstration of the partnership working involved in protecting the public, with the support of North East Scotland College very welcome.”