UK & World News
Child Smokers: Thousands More Take Up Habit
The number of children who have taken up smoking has risen by 50,000 in just one year - the equivalent of 567 a day.
About 207,000 children aged 11 to 15 started to smoke in 2011, a sharp rise from 157,000 in 2010, Cancer Research UK said.
Almost one in three (27%) of under-16s have tried smoking at least once, a study by the charity found.
It urged the Government to commit to having all cigarettes put in plain standardised packs.
Sarah Woolnough, executive director of policy and information at Cancer Research UK, said: "With such a large number of youngsters starting to smoke every year, urgent action is needed to tackle the devastation caused by tobacco.
"Replacing slick, brightly-coloured packs that appeal to children with standard packs displaying prominent health warnings is a vital part of efforts to protect health.
"Reducing the appeal of cigarettes with plain, standardised packs will give millions of children one less reason to start smoking."
Last April, the Government launched a consultation on plans to introduce mandatory standardised packaging for tobacco products.
Health campaigners have welcomed the proposal, although opponents claim it would lead to increased smuggling and job losses.
Information generated by the consultation, which closed in August, is still being analysed by health officials.
In December, Australia became the first country in the world to put all tobacco products in standardised packs.
Cigarette packets and other products are all sold in a standardised colour, with only the brand name and graphic warnings visible.
what do you think?
A further note about Australia, the cigarettes are also NOT ON DISPLAY. You have to ask for them, the assistant then opens a cupboard or drawer to get them out to give to you. Filthy habit should be a TOTAL BAN on tobacco products.
Have a smoke and relax geezer
No Government in the UK will ban smoking in the foreseeable future for two reasons. 1. The Government cannot afford to lose the tax revenue form tobacco which runs into billions of pounds per annum. 2. No Government would run the risk of alienating the millions of adults in this country who still smoke. It could cost them millions of votes and would be electoral suicide...................
Sorry, should read "from tobacco"............
Dave. How many other filthy habits would you like the govt to ban?? Once we go down this road it is a slippery slope to a totalitarian state.
Im not sure but often the more you try and hide something away, the more taboo you make it and the more you make it attractive to kids you who want to rebel.disppointing results.i know for a fact that pubs have suffered due to smoking ban, five pubs have closed in my local town in recent years. I wonder if more adults though have given up the habit since the smoking ban?anyway going by this news item it aint working.
Complete waste of time and money.
Smoking is, I agree.
Smoking is as big a waste of money as all the hairbrained, and unsuccessful, schemes to get people to stop
I agree. You either want to stop or you don't. Packaging makes no difference.
Have a heart, what could be better after a hard day at school than a well earned cigarette ?
that is what you get when you hide things from kids, the more you dont want them to do something the more they want to do it. The tobacco companies must rub their hands together every time someone comes up with another rubbish idea about plain packets or hiding it behind shutters.
Precisely Phil. The more you try to stop kids doing something the more determined they will become.Try telling your daughter you don't approve of her boyfriend and stop her seeing him.
I started smoking at 15 - it had nothing to do with packaging of the product. Once hooked then brand became more importan but I'd have sucked the last drag on one of my dads 'rollies' if I didn't have a tab. The addiction is horrible and if the government wanted to eliminate the problem of new smokers being created then there is a very simple solution which doesn't involve banning cigarettes for existing smokers Create a register for existing smokers with a cut off date - no new smokers can register after this point. Remove all cigarettes from sale and put registered smokers into a group who have prescription cigarettes for their own use and this way they will be able to move onto a reduction program when ready while preventing the access for younger people to this drug. Then any unregistered use can be a class b offence as it would be if cigarettes were invented now. I hope that makes sense :-)
After reading posts like that, I know why we get governments such as we have had during the last 30 or 40 years.
That's quite an interesting idea Steven. Not sure if it would work but it's the most novel idea I've seen in a long time. Food for thought............
Just up the legal age to smoke by 1 every year.
Steven. While I can understand your sentiments this is dangerous nonsense. Why stop with ciggies.? Soon it will be booze and then junk food. And how long before we have a China style restriction on single parents having kids. It can't happen ?? Oh no, they are already starting on the press.
People are actually encouraging the nanny state.! Lack of personal responsibility is a problem in this country, arguably due to the overly nanny state we are becoming. And some people want more!! Yes please sir, tell me what and when i can do everything, so eventually i won't have to bother making any decisions for myself.
Putting cigarettes in plain packs wont stop kids smoking they will still see other people smoking and want to try for themselves, more needs to be done to educate children on the dangers off smoking
I don't know how they can afford them. Think they average at around seven quid a pack these days.
Once addicted to anything it will become your no.1 priority. And besides, no one starts smoking by buying a pack of 20 lights - its nearly always just someone socially handing you one. People forget that there was smoking long before packaging :-)
Absolutely correct Steven. If you could price anything out of people's reach, no one would be using heroin or other hard drugs................ Those addicted to such drugs simply commit crime to feed the habit...............
Plain packaging wont have any effect lots of people buy dodgy packs from sources other than legal sellers an have no interest in the packet its the cigs that they pay for kids will always try things good or bad for them i think the price does seem to be the way to solve the problem and stopping the black market sellers sorry to the established smokers btw but kids smokin should be a thing of the past by now
Anyone got a light ?
Me - since 1990 :-(
OK, tax them out of people`s reach ! Next, alcoholic drinks then salt and sugar and then ? -- donate all your spare cash to the poor of the third world, who will spend it on -------- ?
Reckon thats taking things a step far but there has to be some sort of solution to this ongoing problem
You really do get carried away with yourself don't you dear?
It is almost impossible to tax anything out of people's reach. Smoking is an addiction and those who are addicted will always find the money to feed that addiction. Over 80% of crime is linked to drug addiction and pricing cigarettes out of people's reach will simply increase the crime rate..............
Pjb. It could easily happen. Once govts get used to the idea of controlling peoples lives to that extent THEY become addicted to it. In time it will snowball and god knows where it will end. All for your own good of course. Big Brother is nearer than you think.
ok, but would the money really get to the poor
Gordon, Can you point me in the direction of where you got the info about 80% of crime being linked to drugs please? I find that very hard to believe.
So now we know. Banning the adverts, putting graphic images on the packets, Hiding ciggies behind shutters and the thousands spent telling us why we shouldn't smoke was a waste of time & money. Did anyone seriously think this would do anything other than create more jobs for the boys similar to the race relations industry
give them a choice what to spend money on, with me it was cigs or a record ,when smoked the cig had gone but i still had the record.
Regrettably, I started smoking when I was 11; trust me, packaging had absolutely nothing to do with it!
I started about the same age. When I was at school we had "Nick o teen" to encorage us not to do it, but it is all to do with peer pressure. I have since given up thank god.
Me too BUT after years and years of smoking from childhood to adult, I gave up 30 years ago.
What is the difference between air quality in town centres and smoking a cigarette?
Very large difference
When I was young the only cigarettes I had were candy ones - and they were wonderful. It seems kids these days have got their priorities wrong and all want to grow up to be adults before their time.
Smoking was far more prevalent 40/50 years ago. Our parents were probably encouraged to smoke by the GPs :)
Ah yes,Brian, i remember them.Also the chocolate ones wrapped in white paper.I don't think you can buy either in the UK now,apparently they encourage kids to smoke!!!!
Cannot understand why it is not made illegal to smoke under the age of 18, just like you cannot drink under the age of 18, ok they still might get cigarettes from their parents who do not know any better in their homes but feel it would still be very effective. Having lost close relations recently to smoke related lung cancer I know first hand the dangers. Cannot understand how it is even legal to make a product which says on the packet 'this can kill you' .
Money - always about money
Hi Pauline, FYI, It is illegal to smoke under the age of 18, but as Tricky has pointed out, it's not treated more harshly because of money.
It's the thrill of the naughtiness and not the packaging that appeals to kids that take up smoking. The vast majority don't bother, being wiser. The self-assured, intelligent ones don't need to seek attention in the same way - just the way it is, I'm afraid!
When I take my grandchild to infant school every morning we run into 12 to 16 old`s puffing away on cigs .All the nanny state over taxed hide away ideas has made the cigarette cool again ,but made decent hard working people who like to smoke into villains. To the anti smoking lobby let us see the same campione against diesel /petrol cars, which the exhaust are more cancerous.
Give the kids a break, they are only trying to help the chancellor raise extra revenue,i'm sure he appreciates it. On a serious note anyone who thinks packaging encourages people to smoke needs to think again. Authorities need to crack down on the shops supplying to children,I could go into when I caught my daughter with cigarettes and which shops were supplying,but i'd probably be called racist.