Teenagers put-off smoking by standardised tobacco packaging

Teenagers put-off smoking by standardised tobacco packaging

(Medical Xpress)—A new survey adds further weight to the growing evidence that standardised tobacco packaging could help discourage teenagers from smoking.

The survey, carried out by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), asked 2,500 13- to 18-year-olds from the UK and Australia about their attitudes to tobacco . Only around a third (36 per cent) of UK surveyed were put-off smoking by current packaging compared to nearly half (48 per cent) of teens in Australia, where standardised packaging is already in place.

Worryingly, 10 per cent of teenagers in the UK make the incorrect assumption that certain cigarette brands are healthier than others - twice as many as Australian teens (5 per cent).

The poll also revealed support for standardised packaging from UK teenagers, with three quarters of those surveyed saying they think standardised packaging should be introduced in the UK.

Earlier this year the Government said plans to introduce standardised packaging in the UK would be put on hold until ministers had assessed its impact in Australia. Following their survey, the BHF says the legislation should be implemented without delay.

BHF chief executive, Simon Gillespie, said: "The message from our young people is loud and clear: current health warnings aren't up to the job and the UK Government must step up to the mark and introduce standardised packs.

"Australia has led the way on standardised packs, the Scottish Government has committed, and now the rest of the UK must act to protect future generations from a deadly habit."

An upcoming debate in the House of Lords will focus on a cross-party amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which could see introduction of standardised packaging in the UK.

Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "The cost of smoking is immense - financially and socially. Smoking is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer and it increases your risk of 14 different types of cancer. Starting at a young age greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.

"This is why we strongly support plain, standardised packaging of tobacco as a way to help reduce the attraction of the cool, glamorous cigarette packets designed to encourage to take up this deadly habit."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date Jul 03, 2015

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date Jul 03, 2015

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.