New 'dull' cigarette packets seen in South West

PUBLISHED: 16:23 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:23 24 October 2016

Ilfracombe Town Team has been focusing on tackling illegal tobacco.

Ilfracombe Town Team has been focusing on tackling illegal tobacco.

Archant

New laws giving cigarette and tobacco manufacturers a year to change all packaging are evident in the South West; the drab green packs, with bigger health warnings and graphic images, have been spotted in the county.

The first wave of cigarettes and tobacco on sale in new plain packaging has been spotted in the South West.

New laws that came in to force across the UK in May gave manufacturers up to a year to switch to drab green packs, with bigger health warnings, designed to make smoking less appealing to children and young people.

But just six months later, the first packs are starting to be seen here in the South West.

Evidence shows that children and young people are most vulnerable to tobacco advertising and promotion. Most smokers start as teenagers and two-thirds take it up before the age of 18, so the new standardised packs, with their graphic images of the damaging consequences of smoking, will help prevent the creation of a new generation of smokers.

Debra Lapthorne, centre director for Public Health England South West, said:

‘‘Since Australia introduced standardised packs in 2012, the number of young people who have never smoked has been rising. So the sight of the new packs in the South West means we can look forward to the same thing happening here - which is great news for the future health of young people across the region.”

She added: “We welcome the introduction of plan packaging and hope to see the numbers of young people taking up smoking drop in the months to come, thanks to the hard-hitting messages and unappealing new tobacco packaging.

“If you do smoke, now’s a great time to quit – there’s lots of support available through your local authority to help you to succeed.”

Social media is being used to report sightings of the new packaging and add to a Track the Pack Map.

Anyone spotting a pack can tweet an image and the location using the hashtag #trackthepack. To track the packs, visit http://bit.ly/TrackPack2025 or tweet to @breathe2025.”

Studies show across the South West, almost 10 per cent of 15 year olds smoke and 6.3 per cent smoke regularly. Adult smoking prevalence is 15.5 per cent.

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