Thursday, 14 February 2013

Smokefree Action Day

Happy Valentines Day one and all!

So it’s been six months since the consultation into introducing plain, standardised cigarette packets closed. The hard work is still continuing though and I wanted to use today’s Smokefree Action Day to remind you all of the key messages of our potentially historic campaign.

The whole point of this campaign is to persuade the government to introduced standardised packaging for cigarettes to stop the packets being used to entice children and young people into taking up smoking. IT IS NOT AIMED AT CURRENT SMOKERS AND MAKING THEM FEEL FORCED INTO GIVING UP SMOKING.

Over the years cigarette companies have been forced to give up their advertising etc…. which has meant they have started to focus on the packaging and using it as a way to attract young people. Half of all long term smokers die due to a smoking related illness, over 100,000 deaths per year in the UK are down to smoking. Tobacco companies need to replace the smokers they have lost and they target children and young people to do so. The key thing to remember is, if you become addicted to smoking as a child then it isn't a choice you've made as an adult, it is a childhood addiction.
 Australia introduced standard packs in December 2012 and so far retailers have found it easy to implement. There doesn't appear to be any evidence to suggest it has increased smuggling.

As most regular readers of this blog will know, the CRUK ambassador family went to Westminster in June 2012 to convince MP’s to support the introduction of standard cigarette packs. We also had a petition which over 79,000 members of the public signed to show their support. Over 200,000 members of the Great British Public have contacted the government to show they agree with standard packaging so far.

Years of research has proven very clear links between cancer and smoking. In fact smoking kills five times more people then road accidents, murder, suicide, HIV and overdoses in the UK. One in every four cancer deaths in the UK is directly caused by smoking. a fifth of all cancer cases in the UK are also directly caused by smoking. Cancer Research research shows that smoking is the most important PREVENTABLE cause of cancer in the world.

More then four in five cases of Lung Cancer are caused by smoking. Lung Cancer has one of the lowest survival rates. it is the most common cause of cancer in the UK. Most of these cases are preventable if you give up smoking and allow your lungs to recover.

As well as Lung Cancer, smoking also increases your risk of over a dozen other cancers:
* Mouth
* Larynx (Voicebox)
* Pharynx (Upper Throat)
* Nose and Sinuses
* Oesophagus (Food Pipe)
* Liver
* Pancreas
* Stomach
* Kidney
* Bladder
* Cervix
* Bowel
* One type of Ovarian
* Some types of Leukaemia
* There is also evidence to suggest smoking can increase the risk of you developing Breast Cancer

There are at least 80 cancer causing substances in tobacco smoke. As you inhale the smoke these chemicals are released into your lungs and spread about your body. According to scientists; these chemicals can actually damage your DNA and mutate important genes, making your cells grow and multiply until they are out of control.

There is huge support for this campaign and I do hope the government listens to the facts and the support. There is still work to be done. If you would like to support our campaign then please follow the link below and let your MP know you agree with the introduction of standard packs. In the six months since the consultation closed, over 78,000 more children have taken up smoking. That is a huge number of children and half of those will go on to develop an addiction and die from a smoking related illness. Don’t let it be a child you love, show your support for the campaign today and lets give children one less reason to take up smoking. It will be a huge step in the right direction.

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