People in Sussex show their support for plain cigarette packaging
Monday 23rd July, 2012
There is now more time for people across Sussex to sign up to show their support for plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco.
A Government consultation on the introduction of plain packaging for all tobacco products has now been extended until the 10th August 2012 giving more people to have their say.
Health bosses hope that people will support the proposal which aims to take away the visual appeal of cigarette packages and instead make the packaging for every brand the same with just simple lettering. It is hoped this will discourage the 340,000 children across the country every year that start smoking, as research showed they were more likely to be attracted to the fancy promotional packaging rather than if they are plain.
As well as children, evidence also proved that some brands which are currently being marketed in shiny packs or as ‘super slims’ are particularly attractive to young women. By introducing plain packaging, the health warnings will become bigger and more eye-catching against a plain background.
People in West Sussex have already been showing their support for the proposal. A mini road show has recently toured the country, visiting Chichester, Horsham and Crawley, to provide people with more information regarding the consultation.
The roadshows have proved popular and more than 1600 have signed the online petition so far agreeing with the introduction of plain packaging.
Anna Kirk, Tobacco Control lead for Sussex, said: “The idea behind this proposal is to stop packaging itself acting as an advert to youngsters, tempting them into a highly-addictive habit that could seriously damage their health and lead to an early death.
“We know that more than six out of ten 14-15 year olds in West Sussex will try smoking at some point and more than 10% of girls and 8% of boys become regular smokers. Children are influenced by what they see, we know that they are attracted to the packaging of products, and so we need to do all we can to protect them
“The younger a person quits, the greater the benefit it will have to their health, but if they don’t start at all that has to be the best result. We urge people to participate in the consultation and make their views about plain packaging heard.”
If introduced, this new legislation will help to discourage children from smoking, as it will:
make tobacco packaging look less attractive
increase the effectiveness of health warnings
prevent the use of misleading colours and branding to create false beliefs that some cigarettes are less harmful than others
Anna added: “Our view is that any sensible measure that discourages people from smoking is worthwhile for their health and that of those close to them – and we would ask for everyone who shares this view to visit the website and make your views known.”
More than eight million people in England still smoke – it is one of biggest preventable killers causing more than 80,000 deaths each year.
Nearly two-thirds of current and ex-smokers say they started smoking before they were 18. The cost of treating diseases caused by smoking is approximately £2.7 billion a year.
Help is at hand – there are more than 250 places across Sussex where people can access advice and support to go smokefree. The local NHS Stop Smoking Services provides free expert advice and medication and help is also available at your GP practice and from pharmacies.
You can access the online petition and campaign website here: www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk/