Plain cigarette packaging could boost St Helens' health and economy

Plain cigarette packaging could boost St Helens' health and economy

Plain cigarette packaging could boost St Helens' health and economy

First published in News
Last updated
St Helens Star: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

CHANGING cigarette packaging could save lives in St Helens and boost the town’s economy by more than £2 million, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Figures estimate the introduction of unbranded packaging would see a 3.4 per cent fall in tobacco sales. PHE based their figures on data from Australia, where branded packaging was outlawed in December 2012.

PHE officials calculate that St Helens, where 20 to 30 per cent of the population are thought to smoke, would see £2.2 million injected into the local economy – money that smokers who give up would save and spend elsewhere.

St Helens Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Andy Bowden, said: “Current branding can distract smokers from the serious health warnings that also appear on cigarette packs.

“Attractive packaging helps to portray smoking as something glamorous and harmless - and is one of the key reasons why over 18,000 north west children are tempted to try smoking every year - leading to a lifetime of addiction which ends in death for half of all long-term smokers.”

St Helens Council is firmly in favour of standardising the packaging of cigarettes and tobacco and was one of the first authorities in the country to sign up to a local authority declaration on tobacco and has been working with partners regionally and nationally on this agenda.

St Helens Council’s Director of Public Health, Liz Gaulton, said: “Smoking hits communities with the worst health hardest – and standardised packaging could help us make a real impact in ironing out some of these health inequalities.”

Comments (2)

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2:58pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Hughwithaview says...

I do not really see how plain packaging will make such a big difference. For years horrific pictures of blackened lungs, clogged up hearts etc have been on packet of cigarettes and if that does not put people off why should the fact the "Benson & Hedges" or "Marlboro" is missing.

Everyone knows that smoking is not going to do anybody any good but people still do it, just like drinking to excess and taking illegal drugs. The truth is that you could wrap cigarettes in last weeks newspaper and there would still be people who would buy them.
I do not really see how plain packaging will make such a big difference. For years horrific pictures of blackened lungs, clogged up hearts etc have been on packet of cigarettes and if that does not put people off why should the fact the "Benson & Hedges" or "Marlboro" is missing. Everyone knows that smoking is not going to do anybody any good but people still do it, just like drinking to excess and taking illegal drugs. The truth is that you could wrap cigarettes in last weeks newspaper and there would still be people who would buy them. Hughwithaview
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Lestat1977 says...

it's probably a preventative measure to put kids off, but if you want to smoke you're going to smoke and nothing anybody says or does is going to stop you.
it's probably a preventative measure to put kids off, but if you want to smoke you're going to smoke and nothing anybody says or does is going to stop you. Lestat1977
  • Score: 0

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