Teenagers back cigarette pack change
Only a third of teenagers in the South West are deterred from smoking by current cigarette packs, compared to almost half in Australia, where packs are almost entirely covered by graphic warnings, according to a unique cross-hemisphere survey.
The British Heart Foundation's poll of 13 to 18-year-olds revealed 80% of teenagers in the South West think the UK should introduce standardised cigarette packs.
And the survey also paints a picture of support for standardised packs from Australia's youth with 59% saying the packs make people their age less likely to smoke. Two thirds 66% of Australian teens think the packs should be introduced elsewhere in the world.
Worryingly, 14% of teenagers in the region made the incorrect assumption that certain cigarette brands are healthier than others – nearly three times the number (5%) of Australian teens. A third (38%) of teenagers in the region said the packets would put them off smoking comparing to 38% in Australia.
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Results of the survey, which questioned almost 700 youngsters, were released ahead of tomorrow's vote in the European Parliament which would see cigarette packs across the EU feature larger graphic health warnings on both sides of the box.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: "The message from our young people in the South West is loud and clear – current health warnings aren't up to the job and the UK Government must step up and introduce standardised packs. Australia has led the way on standardised packs."