Fiona O’Donnell, MP for East Lothian, recently met with local campaigner Jamie Walker in the House of Commons to discuss Cancer Research UK’s campaign calling for all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging.
‘The Answer is Plain’ campaign calls for all branding to be removed from tobacco products in order to discourage young people from starting to smoke.
Jamie, 17, from Prestonpans, is an Ambassador for Cancer Research UK and was keen to share the results of a study funded by the charity which found that striking logos and distinctive packet designs make cigarettes more appealing to children.
Speaking after her meeting with Jamie at Westminster, Ms O’Donnell said:
“It is shocking that despite a ban on tobacco advertising, young people are still being lured into a lifetime of addiction because glitzy packaging makes cigarettes look appealing.
I was pleased to meet again with Jamie to discuss Cancer Research UK’s findings that show current packaging makes cigarettes more attractive and health warnings have less impact than on plain packs.
We need to do all we can to improve public health and protect our young people from the dangers of smoking, and that is why I am backing Cancer Research UK’s ‘The Answer is Plain’ campaign.”
Jamie, who previously lobbied the Scottish Parliament for a Scottish Cancer Drugs Fund following the death of his mother from cancer, said:
“We must protect our children from the dangers of tobacco. I don’t want children being subjected to clever marketing techniques from an industry that has to recruit 100,000 new smokers each year to replace those who die from smoking.
I’m delighted Fiona is backing ‘The Answer is Plain’ campaign and I urge people from across the Lothians to show their support too by signing the campaign petition. So many people’s lives are touched by cancer. We can all do our bit to help stop children from taking up this deadly addiction.”
Cancer Research UK’s call to protect children from tobacco marketing comes as the UK Government consults on whether all tobacco should be sold in packs of uniform size, shape and design, otherwise known as ‘plain packs.’
Cancer Research UK is urging people to sign their campaign petition at www.theanswerisplain.org before the Government closes its consultation on plain cigarette packaging on the 10th July.
- Over 220,000 people have now watched Cancer Research UK’s hard-hitting short film that illustrates children’s attraction to slickly designed cigarette packs at www.theanswerisplain.org.uk. You can find out more about how the video was made on the ‘more information’ page.
- The Cancer Research UK-funded report ‘The packaging of tobacco products’ (Ford, A. 2012) is available at www.cancerresearchuk.org/tobacco.
About Cancer Research UK
- Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
- The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. This work is funded entirely by the public.
- Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years.
- Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
- Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer.
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