MEP wants plain cigarette packets

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A POLITICIAN has called on the Government to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.

North East MEP Stephen Hughes said: “Over the last few years the industry has been particularly targeting young women with super-slim, feminine packets which look more like boxes for lipstick or perfume than for a dangerous and addictive drug.

“Standardising packs would end this practice.”

He added: “Two-thirds of current smokers started before they were 18, and 83 per cent started before they were 20.

“Unlike regular smokers, young people who haven’t yet tried tobacco are not drawn to it by a physical addiction.

“Instead they are attracted to tobacco solely by the image and the idea of smoking.

“I hope people take advantage of the remaining days of the consultation to share their views with the Government, which must take swift action once the consultation closes.”

In the North East, 23 per cent of women smoke and 26 per cent are ex-smokers.

Mr Hughes added: “Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and kills one in two regular smokers.

“Tobacco advertising has been banned from billboards, TV, films, newspapers, radio, magazines, racing cars, sportswear and at the point of sale”.

“Plain packaging would simply complete the ban.