Published Wednesday 25 June 2014 at 16:07
Public health leads in Blackburn with Darwen have backed calls for UK action on plain packaging for tobacco after the latest figures from Australia reported a drop in sales since standard packs were introduced.
Tobacco Free Futures urged the Government to act immediately on standardised tobacco packaging to protect children in the UK, following the release of new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that show total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes is currently the lowest ever recorded, with sales dropping from $3.508bn in December 2012 (when standard packs were introduced) to $3.405 billion in March 2014.
Blackburn with Darwen Acting Consultant in Public Health, Donald Read, said the statistics prove that making tobacco less attractive, particularly to younger people, can be effective in reducing consumption.
“The figures from Australia showing a significant drop in purchase of tobacco since the introduction of plain packaging are welcome and encouraging. It highlights the need to press ahead with the plain packaging legislation in the UK to protect children from tobacco smoking. Rates of smoking remain high in Blackburn with Darwen, and large numbers of young people in the borough become addicted to tobacco every year. This national policy change will support all the efforts being taken locally to protect children from smoking.”