Health chief welcomes plain packaging for cigarettes - but readers doubt it will work

Chad readers are not convinced plain packaging will cut smoking
Chad readers are not convinced plain packaging will cut smoking
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A local health chief has welcomed moves to sell cigarettes with plain packaging - but Chad readers don’t believe the move will cut the number of smokers.

This week MPSs approved plans which will introduce standard plain packaging for cigarettes. It means from 2016 every packet will look the same except for the make and brand name, with graphic photos accompanying health warnings if the House of Lords also approves the move.

MORE ON THIS STORY: TALKING POINT: Will plain packaging on cigarettes help save lives?

Dr Judy Underwood, clinical lead for NHS Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I welcome this move to ensure that people understand the serious consequences to their health of smoking. We know that cigarette packaging and advertising has been instrumental in influencing smoking in all groups. I hope this will reinforce the message that smoking damages your health and increases your risk of heart disease, cancer and lung disease.

“Mansfield and Ashfield have significantly more people smoking than equivalent areas around the country, this has resulted in more deaths at earlier ages from smoking related disease and more people who are living with the consequence of serious respiratory disease.

“We need to see a step change in attitudes towards smoking locally and support people to resist starting as well as increase the numbers of people quitting.

Mansfield and Ashfield have significantly more people smoking than equivalent areas around the country, this has resulted in more deaths at earlier ages from smoking related disease and more people who are living with the consequence of serious respiratory disease.

“As health commissioners, we remain committed to doing all we can to help people to give up the habit, so see your GP or call New Leaf directly for advice. However, peer pressure and the influence of friends and family members who smoke are still major factors, particularly in young people starting to smoke and I encourage everyone to think about what they can do to help people quit.”

However an on-line poll of Chad readers showed overwhelming doubts over whether the change would actually have any effect.

91% of respondents on our website thought that plain packaging would not cut the number of smokers.

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