MEP recognised for smoking campaign

YORKSHIRE Euro MP Linda McAvan has been nominated for MEP of the year in the Health category for her leadership on the EU's new tobacco laws.

Laws agreed last month are designed to make smoking as unattractive as possible to young smokers and involve having much larger graphic warnings covering two-thirds of each cigarette pack, with governments free to go a step further and introduce full standardised packaging.

The law also bans an array of gimmicky products that tobacco companies use to target young people, such as flavoured cigarettes and lipstick and perfume style packaging.

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Linda said: “On No Smoking Day, we are reminded of just how bleak the facts on smoking are.

“Here in Yorkshire, there are 921,919 smokers and 70 per cent of those started smoking before the age of 18.

“Nearly 14,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15 are regular smokers in Yorkshire and the Humber and it is estimated that two children in Yorkshire start smoking every hour.

“The EU member countries have a responsibility to address this public health disaster as that is what the new laws will do.”

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The awards ceremony will take place next Tuesday in Brussels and only fellow MEPs can vote in recognition of their colleague's work.

Linda added: “I am delighted to have been nominated for this award.

“The Tobacco Products Directive has been a long journey, but it is my hope that a generation of young people will never start smoking as a result of these new laws.”


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