Council-led partnership in plain cigarette packaging call

LINCOLNSHIRE residents can help make smoking less appealing to children by supporting changes to the packaging of tobacco products, a local group has said.

That’s the message from the Smokefree Lincs Alliance after it backed the national plain packaging campaign.

The county council-led partnership is highlighting the Government’s public consultation on the proposed changes, and people can sign up to the campaign through their website www.smokefreelincs.co.uk.

Local support will be fed through to the national consultation, with an opportunity for comments to be forwarded to Lincolnshire MPs too.

The Alliance said that research had shown children were more likely to be attracted by designed tobacco packs than by plain packs, and that the impact of the health warnings are lost on current branded packs.

Ros Watson, Co-ordinator for the Smokefree Lincs Alliance, said: “Plain packaging is unlikely to stop people who already smoke from doing so.

“However, there is compelling evidence that it would prevent children taking up the habit, as they are more easily influenced by branding and advertising.

”Under the new law, all cigarettes and tobacco products would be required to look the same and all brand names would have to be written in a standard typeface, colour and size. All other logos, colours and graphics would be banned, too.

“With tobacco advertising banned, the packets themselves remain the final place for companies to entice buyers towards the product, with growing evidence suggesting that bright colours and gimmicks such as flip and slide lids draw impressionable young people into wanting to buy and be seen with them as ‘cool’ accessories.”

In November last year, Parliament in Australia became the first to pass a law meaning that all tobacco products will be required to look the same, with Canada and New Zealand joining Britain in considering similar plans.