SEP 01, 2016 04:03 AM PDT

Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

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In the fight against many forms of cancer, the front lines usually involve cigarettes. In the UK approximately 100,000 people die prematurely from smoking-related diseases Tobacco companies therefore need to recruit new smokers to stay in business. New customers are nearly always children and young people. Two thirds (66%) of regular smokers start before the age of eighteen - the legal minimum age for the purchase of tobacco - and two fifths (39%) start before the age of sixteen. Of those who take up smoking, only about half will manage to stop before they die. When plain packaging was introduced in Australia, the rates of smoking went down. Packages that contain branding colors, fonts and other specifics will now not be allowed, and every pack of cigarettes with be standardized. Regulators in the UK hope this will reduce the number of new smokers.

Will it work though? The numbers of people who smoke in the UK has been on a steady decline, with many former smokers opting for e-cigs, which of course come with their own set of risks. Regulations on certain flavors of e cig material and advertising of the vapor devices have also been implemented in a push to eliminate all kinds of smoking, both tradition and electronic. It's commonly believed in the UK that e cigs are safer than regular cigarettes, but no matter which a person chooses, the goal is to reduce smoking in young people. Branding is a real concept in the consumer market and the regulations enacted in May 2016 for traditional cigarettes are aimed at discouraging young people from taking up the habit. Hopefully, the efforts to curb smoking in the UK will follow the pattern of the efforts in Australia and result in a healthier population.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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