The Government today announced that it will conduct a public consultation on putting all tobacco products in plain packs.
Smokefree South West launched a world first campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco packaging to children and young people which even before this announcement which has already seen over 25,000 people show their support at www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk .
The aim of plain packaging of tobacco products is to reduce the amount children smoke by:
• Making tobacco packaging look less attractive
• Increasing the effectiveness of health warnings
• Preventing the use of misleading and deceptive colours to create false beliefs of different strength and quality
• Removing the positive association with cigarette brands and image
Evidence suggests that the impact of health warnings are lost on current branded packs and become less noticeable. If plain packaging is introduced in the UK, this will change. The health warnings will become bigger and more eye-catching against a plain background.
Fiona Andrews, Director of Smokefree South West said
‘Smokers start as children and continue as adults. Two thirds of smokers start before they are 18 and the vast majority while still teenagers - these are shocking facts. Big Tobacco knows this only too well and uses packaging to help replace the 100,000 people lost every year to smoking related diseases.
‘Smoking is an epidemic that affects children and moving tobacco products into standardised, plain packaging is designed to protect them and is not about current smokers.
‘Smokefree South West launched a world first campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco packaging to children and young people. To date over 25,000 people have given their backing at www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk.
‘We have support from parents and grandparents, old and young, men and women, smokers and non-smokers at www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk . People want to see their children lead a full life free from addiction and possible premature death.’
Australia has committed to bringing plain packs into law from December this year and has fought back against Big Tobacco legal challenges
The Australian Minister for Health and Ageing at the time, Nicola Roxon, commented:
‘We know that packaging remains one of the last powerful marketing tools for tobacco companies to recruit new smokers to their deadly products. In the future, cigarette packets will serve only as a stark reminder of the devastating health effects of smoking.
“Big tobacco has made it a habit to challenge Australian Government tobacco controls over the decades…Let there be no mistake, big tobacco is fighting against the Government for one very simple reason—because it knows, as we do, that plain packaging will work. While it is fighting to protect its profits, we are fighting to protect lives.’
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