CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the findings of a major review into protecting children from “glamorous” cigarette packs that they say tempt children to smoke.
Anti-smoking group Fresh North East says laws requiring standardised (plain) packaging of cigarettes in the UK could be in place by the next election.
An independent review by Sir Cyril Chantler found there is a strong public health case for replacing glossy, colourful boxes, with plain standardised packs.
The review was set up by the Government after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour in the Commons in February.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “It’s a scandal that toxic, addictive products are gift-wrapped in glamorous, colourful, fashionable packs, which make them more tempting to young people to try.
“Most smokers start as children and half of long-term cigarette smokers will die early as a result of tobacco.
“There are packs on shop shelves that resemble Lego and perfume.
“We are delighted the Chantler Review has stated such a strong case for standardised packaging.
“The Government are now in the position to do something fantastic and reduce the appeal, to stop more young people getting hooked and dying in their 40s or 50s.”
Sunderland Councillor Paul Watson, chairman of the Association of North East Councils, said: “Smoking is still the biggest cause of diseases that kill people in the North East and every council in our region has supported standardised packaging.
“Councils in the North East believe there is a role for Government to legislate to protect our children from tobacco marketing.
“Most smokers don’t want their children to start.
“We call on the Government to act now to protect our children and young people.”
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