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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS - 5/9/08

Make tobacco "invisible" - plea

Friday September 5th, 2008

Anti-smoking laws should put tobacco "out of sight and out of mind" of young people, campaigners claim today.

As many as 8,000 people have written to the department of health backing the campaign to get cigarettes under the counter, it was claimed.

Three measures to make cigarettes less visible than at present would make a massive difference, according to Cancer Research UK.

This would be to get rid of vending machines, introduce plain packaging and ban the display of cigarettes, the charity says.

Its latest research links cancer branding to the extent of youth smoking.

Researchers from the University of Stirling say the ability to name brands is closely linked to youth smoking.

Professor Gerard Hastings, of the University of Stirling, said: "We know that the younger you are when you start smoking the harder it is to quit.

"Our research shows that the point of sale displays allow tobacco companies to package and market cigarettes with powerful brand imagery to entice new smokers. This turns the pack, or ‘silent salesman’, into a small advertisement and the wall of cigarettes into a big one.

"Children are still being exploited and ultimately, they will only be truly protected when tobacco promotion and marketing in all its forms ceases to exist."

Tags: Drug and Alcohol Abuse | UK News

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