Schools full of smokers starting each day

5 December 2013        

Cigarette on ashtray

New research has revealed that almost 600 under-16s take up smoking every day in the UK.

A large-scale study has found that, amongst 11 to 15 year-olds, an estimated 463 children start smoking every day in England, 55 in Scotland, 30 in Wales and 19 in Northern Ireland.

Starting smoking at a young age paves the way for serious health problems later in life. Smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked.

This is yet more evidence of the urgent need to wipe glitzy logos from cigarette packaging.


Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said: “These shocking figures show that every day nearly 600 children - the equivalent of small school - start smoking in the UK.

The clear lesson from this research is that we need to further our efforts to stop children becoming addicted to a lethal product.

While the Government looks at whether to introduce standardised packaging, this is yet more evidence of the urgent need to wipe glitzy logos and attractive designs from cigarette packaging and help discourage children from this deadly habit.”

Read our policy on tobacco marketing