Cancer Focus NI welcomes the UK government’s announcement of a consultation on draft regulations for standardised packaging of tobacco products.
Gerry McElwee, Head of Cancer Prevention for Cancer Focus NI, said: “Standardised packaging has massive public and political support because it will protect future generations from being seduced by tobacco industry marketing. It will help safeguard children and young people from the devastating effects of smoking and will encourage smoking cessation in adults.
“Most current smokers started while still children. The key purpose of standardised packaging is to make it more difficult to market smoking to children and young people.
“Cancer Focus NI believes that this measure will be significant in reducing the huge toll that smoking takes on local people’s health. There are 2,300 deaths caused by tobacco in Northern Ireland each year with thousands of others affected by cancer, respiratory and other smoking related illnesses. Seventeen local children become smokers every day and any delay will buy the industry more time to recruit yet another generation of children to this deadly product.
“The government must introduce the new regulations on standardised packs before the next election.The timetable is tight so it is crucial that there are no further delays.”