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21/05/12 Plain Packets To Help Pack It In - NHS Surrey

That’s the message from Surrey’s Director of Public Health who is backing a campaign that could see the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes, helping to deter young people from taking up the habit.

Every year 340,000 children in England try smoking and 200,000 under-16s become regular smokers. Research shows they are more likely to be attracted by the promotional tobacco packs, than by plain packaging. With this in mind the government has launched a consultation to seek the views of the nation.

Surrey’s Director of Public Health, Dr Akeem Ali explains, “Research suggests over 140,000 people in Surrey smoke and it’s still the biggest preventable cause of death in Surrey. We welcome any measures that can be taken to deter people from wanting to smoke and help reduce related deaths in the county. That’s why I’m supporting the campaign and encouraging people to share their views.”

If introduced, this new legislation aims to help discourage children from smoking, as it will:

  • make tobacco packaging look less attractive
  • increase the effectiveness of health warnings

prevent the use of misleading branding that creates false belief that some cigarettes are less harmful than others.

As part of the national campaign, roadshows will be taking place in Guildford and Woking, starting next week. Experts will be on hand to talk about the proposals and what the introduction of plain packaging for all cigarettes could mean.

Dates and times are as follows:
Friday 25 May, University of Surrey, Guildford, 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday 26 May, Town centre, Guildford, 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday 23 June, Town centre, Woking, 10:00 – 18:00
Friday 29 June, Guildhall & Town centre, Guildford, 10:00 – 18:00

“The idea behind this proposal is to stop packaging from acting as an advert for young people, tempting them into a highly-addictive habit that could seriously damage their health. This is your chance to get involved and tell us whether you think these proposals are a good idea.” Akeem added.

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