Standardised cigarette packaging welcomed in South YorkshirePublished Friday, 20th March 2015
South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative has welcomed plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.
Regulations enforcing standardised tobacco packaging were approved by the House of Lords this week.
The new regulations, proposed to make smoking less appealing to young people, will come into effect under the Children and Families Act from May 2016.
The House of Lords approval was passed without a vote after 367 MPs voted in favour of the move the previous week with just 113 voting against the legislation.
Dr Tony Baxter, Director of Public Health for Rotherham and Doncaster, said: "This is a huge leap forward for the health of future generations, particularly in areas like South Yorkshire, where a higher than average percentage of the population are smokers."
In Rotherham, 18.9 per cent of adults smoke. In Doncaster, it is 21.4 per cent and in Sheffield 23.2 per cent of adults smoke, compared with the national average of 18.3 per cent.
"Most adult smokers take up the habit from an early age and there is now substantial evidence to suggest that standardised packaging will help reduce the appeal of cigarettes to young people.
"The new legislation will be both effective and popular and is a positive move in preventing young people from starting to smoke, supporting them to have the best start in life, as well as reducing the number of smoking related deaths in the population."
The UK now joins Australia and the Republic of Ireland in introducing this pioneering measure to combat smoking.