Plain cig packets backed by Rotherham health boss

THE approval of plain packaging for cigarettes is a huge leap forward for future generations, Rotherham’s public health director has said.

The House of Lords voted in favour of plans to introduce standardised designs for tobacco products last week (16).

Dr Tony Baxter, speaking on behalf of the South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative, said: “The new legislation will be effective and popular.

“It is a positive move in preventing young people from starting to smoke, supporting them to have the best start in life, and reducing the number of smoking related deaths.

“There is now substantial evidence to suggest that standardised packaging will help reduce the appeal of cigarettes to young people.”

In Rotherham, 18.9 per cent of adults smoke, slightly above the national average of 18.8 but trailing Doncaster (21.4) and Sheffield (23.2).

Dr Baxter said: “It’s a huge leap forward for the health of future generations, particularly in areas like South Yorkshire, where a higher than average percentage are smokers.”

The UK now joins Australia and the Republic of Ireland in introducing the plain packs. The new regulations will apply from May 2016.