October 07, 2013
UK cigarette health warnings ‘not up
to the job’
More Australian teens put off
smoking by cigarette packs than their UK counterparts
Only a third (36%) of UK teenagers are
deterred from smoking by current cigarette packs, compared to half
(48%) of teenagers in Australia, where packs are almost entirely
covered by graphic warnings, according to our unique
The poll of 2,500 13- to 18-year-olds in
the UK and Australia, the first country in the world to adopt
standardised cigarette packs last year,
revealed nearly 8 in 10 (77%) British teenagers think the UK should
introduce standardised cigarette packs.
Our survey also paints a picture of
support for standardised packs from Australia’s youth with nearly 6
in 10 (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.
Smoking kills 100,000 people in the UK every year and we simply can’t wait any longer for legislation
Worryingly, 10 per cent
of teenagers in the UK make the incorrect assumption that certain
cigarette brands are healthier than others – twice as many as
Australian teens (5%).
Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said:
“The message from our young people is loud and clear: current
health warnings aren’t up to the job and the UK Government must
step up to the mark and introduce standardised packs.
100,000 people in the UK every year and we simply can’t wait any
longer for legislation. Australia has led the way on standardised
packs, the Scottish Government has committed, and now the rest of
the UK must act to protect future generations from a deadly
Later this month, the House of Lords will be
debating a cross-party amendment to the Children and Families Bill,
which could see standardised packaging become a reality in the UK.
Under the reform, cigarette packs will be a generic size which,
research shows, makes warnings about the harmful effects of
cigarettes stand out more.
Mr Gillespie added: “The evidence shows that
standardised packs increase the effectiveness of health warnings
and lessen the appeal of cigarettes, particularly among young
people, so it’s imperative MEPs vote for larger health warnings and
then peers agree to amend the Children and Families Bill.”