Date: 01/08/2008 Category: Medway PCT
People in Medway are being asked for their views on new proposals to restrict tobacco advertising across the country. The consultation document the Future of Tobacco Control is looking for resident’s views now and aims to start a debate on further measures that would stop people smoking and prevent young people starting to smoke. Some of the main ideas and proposals in the consultation include: · removing branding and logos from all tobacco packaging; · having a minimum pack size of 20 – to stop young people, who can only afford packs of 10, buying cigarettes; · restricting access to cigarette vending machines by young people – whether by banning vending machines altogether or through systems that only allow adult purchase; · restricting the display of tobacco products in shops, which may include putting cigarettes under the counter, and · banning the advertising of smoking paraphernalia, such as cigarette papers. The take up of smoking in young people is lower than a decade ago, but over 200,000 of all under 16’s start smoking each year. As a result they are three times more likely to die of cancer due to smoking than someone who starts in their mid-20s. Julia Thomas, Medway PCT’s Tobacco Control Manager said: “We want to know what people in Medway think about these new proposals. One year on from the introduction of smokefree legislation in public places, these new proposals aim to take things one step further. Do people agree or disagree? You can make your views known in a number of ways – by post, email or via the internet. Please send your views in.” The estimated cost to the NHS of treating smoking related illness is between £1.4 -1.7 billion per year. In the South East, 20 per cent of people are currently smokers, although in some areas this figure is much higher. Medway is above the South East average at around 27 per cent. There are some pockets of around 40 per cent. Helping smokers to quit, reducing the uptake of smoking and controlling the supply of tobacco are vital for achieving a happier, healthier, wealthier Medway. To read more about the consultation on the Future of Tobacco Control, please go to: www.dh.gov.uk/en/consultations/liveconsultations. The consultation closes on Monday, 8 September 2008.