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Over on Mumsnet: Make cigarettes less attractive to children

by Henry Scowcroft | Analysis

27 August 2013

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Read the original post on Mumsnet

Elizabeth Bailey, one of our Ambassadors, has written a guest post on Mumsnet about why changing the way cigarettes are marketed could make a difference – and what we can do to give our children the best chance for a healthy future.

Hello, I’m Elizabeth: 48 year-old mother of two girls, a local council worker, postgrad student, and breast cancer survivor. I’ve written this guest post because something has happened over my girls’ summer holiday that has frustrated me beyond belief.

That thing is David Cameron’s decision to shelve proposals to introduce standardised, (or ‘plain’) packaging for cigarettes. It’s a decision I find incomprehensible.

Under the proposed plans, all tobacco products and cigarettes would be packaged in a standard shape without branding, design or logo and with clear health warnings. The evidence is clear: today’s tobacco packaging attracts children, but standardised packs with picture health warnings are a turn off. Removing the glitz and glam packaging that tobacco companies use to lure new consumers would give children one less reason to start smoking.

I dare say you’ve already read about the campaign in the news, and perhaps picked up on the suggestion that the PM’s adviser, Lynton Crosby, who has strong links with the tobacco industry might somehow be involved in the turnaround. Maybe, who knows? What I do know is – that decision was plain wrong…