Paul Burstow and Claire Tyler: Standardised tobacco packaging (via Lib Dem Voice)

Baroness Tyler of Enfield
Baroness Tyler of Enfield

Do you know only one in ten smokers in the UK started after the age of 19, and two in five of smoking habits started before 16?

Every year, more than 100,000 people die from smoking related diseases across UK; at the same time, 200,000 children aged 11-15 are risking their health and spending hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year on this toxic habit.

When smokers take up in their early years, they face more serious health impacts and find it harder to quit, so reversing this alarming trend has to be one of our biggest priorities in public health. And that’s why the Lib Dems have fought hard over years to get us all ahead of the curve. Thanks to hard work from colleagues across Parliament, in the past ten years the UK has banned tobacco companies from using most forms of advertising – including sponsoring sport teams – and put the display of tobacco products in shops under control while Paul was Health Minister.

Then it was true that the health and economic benefits of stopping tobacco displays far outweigh the costs, and the same is true of standardising cigarette package designs now. The unconscious trigger of attractive packaging is an extremely successful marketing tool that encourages children and young people to glamourise and take up smoking. Bright colours, sleek designs and slim cigarettes, to name a few, all make people falsely believe that such cigarettes are less harmful. Attractive packaging is responsible for one in 20 people who take up the habit and a matter of 2,000 lives in the UK each year.

The full article is available here

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