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More Than 7,000 Children Take Up Smoking in Yorkshire in Six Months


12:05am 14th February 2013

The Smokefree Action Coalition claims that more than 7,000 children have started smoking in Yorkshire and The Humber over the last six months.

It adds the number grows by 39 every day.

Now the Smokefree Action Coalition is calling on the Government to publish the results of its consultation and announce that it will go ahead with legislation.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the implementation of the ban on tobacco advertising and the seventh anniversary of the Commons vote for smokefree legislation.

Currently in the UK, there are no restrictions on the way tobacco multinationals are allowed to promote their brands through packaging. The packs are now the principal form of tobacco promotion and are designed to attract existing and potential consumers with colourful and eye-catching imagery.

Dr Janet Atherton, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health said:

“Tobacco remains our biggest cause of preventable death.  Standardised packaging of tobacco would have a big impact on the number of teenagers taking up a lethal addiction. There is strong public support for this measure and the Association of Directors of Public Health encourages the Government to introduce it without delay.”

Ron Gainsford, Chief Executive of the Trading Standards Institute said:

“The Trading Standards Institute attaches great importance to its contribution to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of consumers in the UK. We recognise that standardised packaging is a necessary step towards protecting the public from the harms of smoking and that it will be particularly effective for young people. We therefore urge the Government to bring forward legislative proposals for standard packs.”

Opinion polls are said to show 62% of the public support the plain, standardised packaging of tobacco products, with more smokers supporting than opposing the measure.

More than 200,000 people have expressed their support for the introduction of plain, standardised packaging of tobacco products in the UK.

Internationally, standardised packaging is already in place in Australia which became the first country to implement such legislation in December 2012.

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