Issued by City of York Council
In the week children go back to school City of York councillors are expressing their concern that the Government is not doing enough to protect children from the harmful influence of glitzy tobacco packaging.
In the next school term it is estimated 176 children in York will start smoking. By this time next year York will have 561 new young smokers.
Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services said: “How many more young children must take up smoking before the government decides to act?
“City of York Council is totally behind this; it is time for the government to act because the longer they delay the more harm is being caused.”
The government recently decided to delay the introduction of standard cigarette packs after publishing the results of its public consultation, citing a need for more time to study the effect that similar legislation has had in Australia.
However, the latest research from Australia shows that the policy works, and that smokers are finding their cigarettes less appealing and are more motivated to quit now they have to buy tobacco that comes in standardised packaging.
Now, more than a year after the consultation has finished, we can ill afford to delay any longer. Every day 500 children in the UK become smokers, entering into an addiction that will ultimately prove fatal for half of those that continue it long term.
Protecting the health of our children is the most important thing we can do, and that is why City of York Council is urging the government to press ahead with this vital piece of legislation. The longer we wait, the more harm tobacco will case to the next generation.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, City of York Council’s Director of Health and Wellbeing said: “Smoking continues to be the biggest cause of mortality in this country and now is the time to act. Smoking is a childhood addiction – not an adult choice – and we need to take steps to prevent the targeting of young people by the tobacco industry.”
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