Blackburn youngsters campaign for government to bring in law for plain packaging of cigs

Blackburn Citizen: Sahiba Shahzadi with one of the posters Sahiba Shahzadi with one of the posters

A TEENAGER has spoken out in support of standardised tobacco packaging and urged the Government to introduce legislation to ‘save lives’.

Sahiba Shahzadi, 16, from Blackburn, attended an event on the power of cigarette packaging, organised by Tobacco Free Futures (TFF).

TFF, a social enterprise which works with local authorities to tackle tobacco in Lancashire, organised the event for young people to explore how tobacco companies use ‘glitzy and sophisticated packaging’ to ‘entice’ young boys and girls.

Sahiba, who attends Youth Action in Blackburn, said: “I definitely wouldn’t want the standard cigarette packaging in my handbag but I would want a glitzy pink packet. Standardised packaging would make smoking less appealing, saving the lives of many young people.”

The event followed the recent outcome of the Chantler review on standardised packaging, released earlier this month, which concluded that standardised packaging would ‘contribute to a modest but important reduction in smoking prevalence especially in children and young adults’.

Dominic Harrison, director of public health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “It is great to see young people taking an interest in tobacco industry tactics and making a stand against marketing through packaging.”

County Coun Azhar Ali, who represents Nelson South and is a cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “This girl, at 16, is a fantastic role model for other young people.”

Andrea Crossfield, chief executive of TFF, said: “Glitzy, colourful and glamorous cigarette packaging helps to attract the next generation of tobacco industry customers.”

But Blackburn with Darwen councillor Suleman Khonat, North West spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance, said: “There are other tried and tested ways to stop youngsters from smoking, for example, by improving education, enforcing existing laws and tightening up the penalties for illegal tobacco sellers and smugglers.”

Comments (3)

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3:22pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Mothernature says...

I seriously doubt that anyone of a tender age, is going to be influenced to smoke by the packaging. They are hardly in tempting colours or designs. Those who smoke from a young age, will have either snuck a couple of cigarettes from their parents packets or been coerced by their peers. I really can't see a young person having woken up that morning & saying to themselves, "I fancy trying smoking today, I'll buy a colourful packet". It's just a bit of propoganda by the anti-smoking brigade.
I seriously doubt that anyone of a tender age, is going to be influenced to smoke by the packaging. They are hardly in tempting colours or designs. Those who smoke from a young age, will have either snuck a couple of cigarettes from their parents packets or been coerced by their peers. I really can't see a young person having woken up that morning & saying to themselves, "I fancy trying smoking today, I'll buy a colourful packet". It's just a bit of propoganda by the anti-smoking brigade. Mothernature
  • Score: 6

3:48pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Bad News Barrett says...

Whats so colourful and thrilling about a blue pack that says Mayfair or Richmond on lol :/
Whats so colourful and thrilling about a blue pack that says Mayfair or Richmond on lol :/ Bad News Barrett
  • Score: 3

7:50am Wed 23 Apr 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

This is why Tobacco Control Industry groups like Tobacco Free Futures exploit children for their propaganda; they don't understand market forces and the real reasons for tobacco branding.

They don't understand different companies selling similar products in the same marketplace and trying to increase their market share.

They don't understand that the desire to remove the intellectual property rights of the tobacco companies and replace them with disgusting pictures of terrible afflictions that have nothing to do with tobacco, is not about protecting the kiddies, but about denormalising and punishing adult smokers.

They don't understand that no child anywhere ever, started smoking because of the packet. They believe the hype because they have been shown a Cancer Research UK video of primary school children telling us their favourite colour and have been told that this is evidence.

Teens are perfect for Tobacco Control propaganda.

Adults? They voted overwhelmingly against plain packs in the government consultation.
This is why Tobacco Control Industry groups like Tobacco Free Futures exploit children for their propaganda; they don't understand market forces and the real reasons for tobacco branding. They don't understand different companies selling similar products in the same marketplace and trying to increase their market share. They don't understand that the desire to remove the intellectual property rights of the tobacco companies and replace them with disgusting pictures of terrible afflictions that have nothing to do with tobacco, is not about protecting the kiddies, but about denormalising and punishing adult smokers. They don't understand that no child anywhere ever, started smoking because of the packet. They believe the hype because they have been shown a Cancer Research UK video of primary school children telling us their favourite colour and have been told that this is evidence. Teens are perfect for Tobacco Control propaganda. Adults? They voted overwhelmingly against plain packs in the government consultation. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 3

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