Smoking

Public unaware about extent of cancer deaths from smoking

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 16:50 GMT Jump to Comments

Few adults are aware of the shocking level of devastation caused by tobacco each year in the UK, Cancer Research figures suggest.

Fewer than one in 5 of the 4,300 adults surveyed correctly identified that there are 100,000 deaths as a result of smoking every year in the UK.

The figures released today add to Cancer Research UK’s ongoing campaign to remove all attractive and stylish designs from tobacco. It is thought that glossy packaging adds to the appeal of cigarettes.

Critics believe that by standardising packaging this “deadly allure” can be removed and increase the impact of picture health warnings.

The findings also show that there is strong public support to protect children from tobacco marketing and remove the design “gimmicks” from tobacco packaging. It has been found that only 12 per cent oppose this measure.

Additionally just over three quarters (76 per cent) also agree that children should not be exposed to any tobacco marketing. This comes on the day that MPs are voting to ban smoking in front of children in cars.

The next stage is for standardised packaging to become law, with the House of Commons now considering the move.

Earlier last week the House of Lords backed the measure, more than a year and a half since the government began consulting on the issue.

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco policy said: “With the House of Commons now looking over the bill today, it’s important to remember why reducing smoking rates is so important.

“That smoking can kill and cause so much illness has been known for decades, but it’s clear that most people remain unaware of just how many people die because of tobacco.

“Marketing can be the first hook that draws young people into a lifetime of nicotine addiction, an addiction that ends in death for half of all long-term smokers.

"Standardised packaging will give millions of children one less reason to start smoking, and we urge the government to make this a reality as soon as possible”.

Last year the government put the policy on hold, but 6 months later announced an independent evidence review that will report back in March.

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