Latest Public Sector News

23.02.12

Plain packaging could discourage young smokers

Every year, 157,000 children aged 11-15 start smoking, according to latest research by Cancer Research UK. The charity is petitioning the Government for sustained action to discourage young people from taking up smoking, including the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

In the UK, almost 1 million under-15s, around 27%, have tried smoking at least once. It is important to discourage children from smoking as eight out of ten adult smokers start before the age of 19, the charity says.

Half of all long-term smokers will die from tobacco-related illnesses and around 100,000 people are killed by smoking in theUKeach year, Cancer Research stated.

Jean King, its director of tobacco control, said: “Far too many young people start smoking every year. We must act to bring this number down.

“The tobacco industry spends a great deal of money on designing cigarettes and their packets so they seem glamorous, appealing, fashionable and attractive in an effort to recruit more customers. With advertising outlawed, the cigarette packet is now the most important marketing tool the tobacco industry has.

“Our research has shown that selling all cigarettes in standardised packs will help reduce the appeal of smoking and give children one less reason to start smoking.”

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