50,000 Support Plain Packs Campaign

Tuesday, 22 May 2012  at 13:59

Thousands join the fight to protect children

Over 50,000 people have joined the Plain Packs Protect campaign showing the strength of support to put an end to glamorous, highly designed tobacco packaging, which evidence shows are attractive to children and young people.

Most parents, including parents who smoke, don’t want their kids to start yet over two thirds of smokers start when they are under 18. Studies show that teenagers are highly aware of cigarette brands and glossy packaging. The World Health Organisation and local health bodies, think the answer is to simply move tobacco into plain, standardised packets.

Every year, another 340,000 children in the UK are tempted in some shape or form to try smoking. Research shows that they are more likely to be lured by the designed tobacco packs, than by plain packs.

Fiona Andrews, Director of Smokefree South West said:

‘The sheer number of people who are joining the campaign to say that they believe that plain packs will protect children is hugely encouraging. 50,000 people is a fantastic number and I’d like to thank the residents of the South West for continuing to play their part. 

‘The Royal Colleges of Midwives, Nursing and Physicians all support us as do major charities such as British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

‘We must remember that the numbers are huge. Smoking is an epidemic that affects children and moving tobacco products into standardised, plain packaging is designed to protect them. For example, from a very early age children build relationships with branded breakfast cereals, not from advertising exposure but from their interaction with packaging at breakfast and snack times.

‘The Government is holding a public consultation until July 10th. If you haven’t responded yet you can still have your voice heard here in this vital issue for the health of future generations.’

A YouGov poll commissioned by ASH in 2010 found that two thirds of the UK public would support plain packaging if there was evidence that plain packaging was less likely to give the false impression that one type of cigarette is safer than another.

Three quarters of respondents said they would support plain packaging if it made health warnings more effective, and 8 out of 10 people would support it if they were found to be less attractive to children and young people than branded packs.  
* This number reflects the total amount of people who have signed up to support the plain packaging of tobacco products, via the Plain Packs Protect Partnership (logos below), British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK websites.
Supporters Smoke Free South West Ulster Cancer Foundation ash Ash Scotland Ash Wales British Heart Foundation Cancer Research UK Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Cut Films Faculty of Public Health Fresh Smoke Free North East National Heart Forum NCSCT BTS - Stop Smoking Champions The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Royal College of Physicians TCC Tobacco Free Future Trading Standards Partnership South West Smoke Free Lincs - Promoting a tobacco free life