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More than 1,000 children in Cumbria smoke regularly

More than 1,100 Cumbrian children between the ages of 10 and 14 are regular smokers.

Health experts say the eye-opening figure, published by Cancer Research UK, strengthens their calls for plain tobacco packaging to be introduced.

On average around 900 people in the county die each year from smoking-related illnesses. To tackle this, local public health experts want to stop young people taking up the habit in the first place.

Su Sear, a public health partnership specialist, said the fact that so many children as young as 10 are regular smokers shows action is needed.

She said research shows they are more likely to be attracted by branded tobacco packaging than by plain packs.

“Shiny holograms, pretty pastel colours and wrappers are just some of the eye-catching pack designs available, and there is growing evidence to suggest that these packs can attract and mislead children.

“With regulation in place to restrict television, radio and other advertising, packaging is becoming more and more important to the tobacco industry to help sell their products,” she explained.

The Department of Health is consulting on proposals to strip branding from tobacco packaging.

Mrs Sear is urging Cumbrians to have their say before it closes on August 10.

“The health warnings will become bigger and more eye-catching against a plain background. This means that by making packaging plain, health warnings will become more effective,” she added.

“The plain truth is Cumbrians can help protect our children by taking part in the national consultation before it ends later this month.”

To read more about the proposals or to take part visit

Have your say

More than 1,000 children in Cumbria smoke regularly - the rest just smoke when they're having a drink.

Posted by BorderLine on 6 August 2012 at 22:00

Does anyone ever stop and think that there are already stringent laws on youngsters using illegal substances (including alcohol for the under 18's) and yet they are all widely used and abused...and largely accepted by our liberal society. If we can't stop youngsters using these sunstances with the full weight of the law, why do we think the colour and patterns on cigarette packets will make any difference?

Posted by Shock and Awr on 5 August 2012 at 19:17

View all 7 comments on this article

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