Local residents in Holbeck and Beeston turned out to support a campaign for plain packing on cigarettes – despite the puring rain!
The event, at St Matthew’s Community Centre in Holbeck, saw in the region of 30 people brave filthy weather to find out more about the campaign, It was also attended by local MP Hilary Benn said he was fully supportive of making all tobacco products in standardised packaging.
Mr Benn said:
“I hadn’t realised just how important packaging has become to the sale of cigarettes since the Tobacco Advertising Act 2003 which banned all forms of tobacco marketing. Given the huge impact that smoking has on our health, this proposal should be seen as a proportionate step that would make tobacco less attractive and less appealing to our children. That must be a good thing.”
The Government is currently consulting on plain packaging as research has highlighted that plain packs;
- Are less appealing to both children and adults,
- Make health warnings stand out more and
- Reduce the perception that some cigarettes are less harmful than others.
Rachel Brighton, Health Improvement Practitioner for NHS Airedale Bradford and Leeds, said:
“Smoking is responsible for over 100,000 deaths every year in the UK and every year around 340,000 children in the UK are tempted by smoking. Studies have shown that children are more likely to be lured by designed tobacco products which are shiny, colourful and eye catching than by plain packs. By supporting the standardisation of tobacco products, local residents can be part of shaping the future and protecting children.”
The Holbeck event was organised by NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds.
The Government is currently consulting on whether to introduce plain standardised packaging for tobacco products which closes on the 10th August. In conjunction with the consultation a national campaign called “plain packs protect” is also running which will feed into the consultation. More than 75,000 people have already pledged their support to the Plain Packs Protects petition. If you would like to support the campaign you can sign up online at www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk.