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Yorkshire MEP Welcomes Government U-Turn on Plain Tobacco Packaging


1:01pm 28th November 2013

Linda McAvan, Yorkshire MEP and Europe’s lead negotiator on Tobacco laws has welcomed the government’s decision today to think again about its position on the plain packaging of cigarettes.

The government dropped plans to adopt plain packaging earlier in the year but announced a change of mind earlier.

Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber has said; “Nearly 50% of smokers will die from a smoking related disease and tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable premature deaths across Europe.

“Nearly 14,000 children between the ages of 11-15 are regular smokers in Yorkshire and the Humber alone, and the introduction of plain packaging could go a long way towards making smoking less attractive to the next generation.”

The  European Parliament last month agreed that 65% of tobacco packaging should be covered with graphic health warnings, as well as a ban on flavourings and slim cigarette packets that mimic perfume and lipstick cases, whilst leaving the door open for countries to go further.

Linda is the EU’s lead negotiator on this raft of measures which are now in the process of being finalised by MEPs and Ministers from the 28 EU countries. The proposals aim to make smoking less attractive to young people and prevent the tobacco industry from targeting their products at younger smokers.

Linda added; “I hope that the government can now move forward without the need for further costly delays. Its estimated that 2 children start smoking every hour in Yorkshire and we cannot allow this to carry on.”


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