In a survey of more than 2,000 women for Cancer Research UK, found 8 of the 10 thought bright packaging was attractive to young people while 85% said that children should not be exposed to any tobacco marketing in general. The Government has established plans to introduce plain packaging on hold, saying he wanted to gather more evidence first. A decision has been delayed so more time can be spent on the study of how such a scheme has worked in Australia.
Health Minister Anna Soubry said in July that she “never give in to pressure.” Labour accused the Government of “caving in to big business.” Under the plans, all tobacco packages would be the same color and would carry prominent, graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking.
The examination of the mother and grandmother of children less than 18 years found 92% would be worried about their children when they are addicted to smoking under age.
Cancer Research UK runs a campaign to remove all the “stylish and attractive” branding from the packaging and increase the number of picture warnings about the health effects of smoking. More than 200,000 children start smoking every year, with more girls smoke regularly than boys, figures show.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “Smoking causes more than 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer, and more than 100,000 tobacco-related deaths each year. We also know that starting smoking at a young age greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, so most mothers and grandmothers believed that no child shall be subjected to exposure to advertising of tobacco products.
“We are urging the Government to introduce a simple, standardized packaging of tobacco, which, as well as being a popular movement, would show that the government cares more about the health of future generations than the profits the tobacco industry. We would like to see the government to protect children from the temptation of sophisticated marketing of tobacco industry and introduce a simple, standardized packaging as a way to reduce the number of young people who start smoking. “
Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ lobby group Forest, said: “There is no credible evidence that children start smoking because of the cigarette packaging. Teenagers are influenced primarily by their peers and family members. The introduction of plain packaging can be the source of the black market and it would have been much worse for children because the gangs do not care who they sell to.
“The government has rightly decided to wait until there is no conclusive evidence that supports plain packaging. To his credit, he also took into account the views of hundreds of thousands of people who responded to the public consultation on standardized packaging. Vast majority was against the policy, and not without reason. “
Martin Dockrell, director of policy and research at Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Mothers and grandmothers clearly want to protect children from tobacco industry: Since the advertising ban on smoking among children doubled removal promotional items from tobacco packaging that will help finish the job and further reduce take-up of smoking by children. “