Please, please, can you spare 3 minutes of your time to watch the video below and fill in the petition. This is a campaign that is very close to my heart, having seen the devastating effects that cigarettes can have...
You may have seen in the papers that one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), is spending £2million on an advertising blitz for their campaign against the plain packaging of tobacco. In prior experience, the more a tobacco company protests about a policy, the more successful it will be.
But we need your help to protect children from tobacco marketing. It takes just two minutes to sign the petition for plain packaging.
The evidence - why plain packaging?
Top quality evidence shows that putting cigarettes in plain packs - removing glitzy branding so that all packs are a standard size and colour with prominent picture health warnings - makes them less attractive to children. This is why Cancer Research UK has taken a strong stance in favour of introducing plain packaging in the UK, as have other health experts, including the World Health Organisation.
A total of 37 key studies, that all meet stringent methodological and relevant criteria, have shown that plain packaging is an effective tobacco control measure. The Department of Health commissioned a systematic review on plain packaging involving leading Cancer Research UK researchers. All 19 quantitative studies examining the attractiveness of plain packs found they were less attractive than branded equivalent packs. Thirteen studies examined perceptions of smoker identity and personality attributes associated with plain packs. Plain packs consistently received lower ratings on projected personality attributes (such as ‘popular’ and ‘cool’) than branded packs. The Cancer Research UK funded Centre for Tobacco Control Research has brought together the evidence on plain packs – you can read the report here.
Plain packaging isn’t about penalising existing smokers, or trying to get current smokers to quit, it’s about giving millions of children one less reason to start smoking in the first place.
Smoking is responsible for a quarter of all cancer deaths, and eight in ten smokers start by the age of 19. Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer, and when we have clear evidence that a measure will help reduce smoking rates, we have a duty to act. This is a vital public health issue that we’re proud to champion.
What’s happening now?
The Government recently announced that its consultation on the issue of tobacco packaging is being extended to Friday 10 August. We need to make the most of this extra time and encourage people to sign the petition.
Tobacco companies say there is no evidence - but these are the same companies who spent decades claiming smoking did not cause cancer.
Let's take a stand against ‘Big Tobacco’