The UK-wide consultation on standardised packaging for tobacco products closed in August, with many people in the Rother Valley responding in support of plain, standardised packs.
In total, more than 200,000 people have told the Government they support plain packs – including over 79,000 Cancer Research UK supporters. Cancer Research UK believes the introduction of plain packaging is a vital step in discouraging young people from taking up smoking.
Approximately 630 children aged 10-14 are regular smokers in the Rotherham borough, whilst every year around 157,000 children aged 11-15 start smoking in the UK, that is enough to fill 5,200 classrooms or make up nearly 14,000 junior football teams.
With eight out of ten smokers starting by the age of 19, plain packs will take us one step closer to a future where people don’t start smoking in the first place. In a recent YouGov poll 79% of people in England agreed that tobacco marketing is harmful to children.
Australia will be the first country to introduce plain packaging this December, after their High Court rejected a tobacco industry legal challenge. New Zealand, India, Norway, France and Finland are just a few of the countries also considering their own plain packaging legislation.
I will be calling on the Health Secretary and the Government to make parliamentary time available in the next session to implement plain packaging as swiftly as possible.