Potters back anti-counterfeit campaign

Stoke City Football Club are backing Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s drive to fight fake cigarette sales over Christmas.

City midfielder Salif Diao will be the face of the campaign during the Potters game with Blackpool this weekend, to tie in with the council’s efforts to clamp down on counterfeiters over the Christmas period.

The counterfeits, which are often packaged to resemble well known brands, are offered for sale at severely reduced prices to tempt people into buying them – but these cigarettes are made from highly toxic materials that can even include rat droppings.

The fakes are so dangerous that doctors have warned they are responsible for four times as many deaths as drugs.

An increasing number of highly dangerous fakes are being sold in the city’s pubs and clubs, as well as venues like car boot sales, markets and even some corner and mobile shops.

To combat the problem Stoke-on-Trent City Council has launched a campaign to raise awareness with posters that are being displayed in shops across the city. Now Stoke City are lending their support to the campaign with information in the matchday programme and around the ground during the Blackpool game.

“Stoke City carry an important brand and we are grateful for their co-operation in helping us get this message across to as many people as possible.

“A lot of these fake products look like the real thing, but even though they appear to be genuine, they are in reality extremely poor reproductions.

“Fake tobacco and cigarettes can contain highly dangerous ingredients like cyanide and have been found to contain plastic, sand and even rat droppings. In many cases the fake cigarettes have been found to be much stronger than genuine ones.

“While the content of all cigarettes is harmful, fake tobacco is even more hazardous than the real thing because they are cheaply made and often contain toxic material in high quantities.”

“The Football Club is active in promoting healthier lifestyles through a number of initiatives and it is important therefore to highlight the dangers of using fake cigarettes.

“While a key aspect of our work is to support people in attempting to give up smoking, we would also want to encourage those who choose to smoke to act responsibly for their own good.”

The public is being urged to report any sales of counterfeit tobacco by contacting the hotline 01782 238444 or going online at www.stoke.gov.uk/fakes. The sale of “bootleg” tobacco on which duty has not been paid can also be reported in this way.

Big Conversation Set To Inspire Stoke-on-Trent Employers On Work Experience

Young people from Stoke-on-Trent schools are set to benefit from the wisdom and experience of local business leaders as part of Business in the Community’s national Work Inspiration campaign.

On Tuesday, 23 November, 50 pupils will be at the King’s Hall, in Kingsway, Stoke, to talk to more than 60 senior business representatives from across the city about the benefits of work experience.

The Work Inspiration campaign, which has seen Big Conversation events held across the country, has been developed to encourage businesses of all sizes and types, across all sectors, to commit to improving and expanding the work experience they offer in order to bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work.

The Stoke-on-Trent event is being hosted by Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Chief Executive John van de Laarschot, Sinead Butters, Chief Executive of Aspire Housing Group and David Darlaston, Regional Director of Business in the Community.

They will be joined by chief executives and senior officers from across North Staffordshire, including, Johnson Tiles, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Stoke City Football Club and Kier Group, to discuss with students about how to create worthwhile and beneficial work experience placements.

“The younger generation are the city’s future employees and employers so it is important we invest time and effort to help shape their career paths. The Big Conversation gives young people the chance to talk to business leaders about how they developed their careers. It also allows us to think as a business how we provide work experience opportunities and whether what we offer could be improved. It is a great opportunity for our city’s young people and business leaders to unite in shaping the students of this city’s future career paths.”

During the day long event young people, aged between 15 and 18, will be given the opportunity to talk on a one to one basis with chief executives and business leaders about their experiences and careers. It will provide students with the unique opportunity to quiz business leaders on how they got to where they are today while also giving both parties the opportunity to review the benefits of work experience in business.

“Work experience acts as a vital link between young people and the world of business, so it is my firm belief that employers should play their part to ensure young people’s first experience of work is both challenging and rewarding. The Big Conversation is the first step a of crucial dialogue between young people and business, and in doing so will help the business to better understand how they can meet the ambition of young people, and provide the best possible work experience.”
“I am delighted to be involved in such an inspirational campaign which helps us, as employers, understand what we can do to make young peoples first experiences of work more meaningful and relevant In terms of deciding what they want to do when they leave school . It is great that we can draw upon the experience of the members of the Employer Board, which is made up of representatives from companies within North Staffordshire to inspire young people.”