Plain tobacco packing is way forward

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The UK-wide consultation on standardised packaging for tobacco products closed in August, with many people in the Rother Valley responding in support of plain, standardised packs.

In total, more than 200,000 people have told the Government they support plain packs – including over 79,000 Cancer Research UK supporters.

Cancer Research UK believes the introduction of plain packaging is a vital step in discouraging young people from taking up smoking.

Approximately 630 children aged 10 to 14 are regular smokers in the Rotherham borough, while every year around 157,000 children aged 11 to 15 start smoking in the UK. That is enough to fill 5,200 classrooms or make up nearly 14,000 junior football teams.

With eight out of 10 smokers starting by the age of 19, plain packs will take us one step closer to a future where people don’t start smoking in the first place. In a recent YouGov poll 79 per cent of people in England agreed tobacco marketing is harmful to children.

Australia will be the first country to introduce plain packaging this December, after their High Court rejected a tobacco industry legal challenge. New Zealand, India, Norway, France and Finland are just a few of the countries also considering their own plain packaging legislation.

I will be calling on the Health Secretary and the Government to make parliamentary time available in the next session to implement plain packaging as swiftly as possible.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week, from 5th to 12th November, is part of the National Pharmacy Association’s ongoing effort to highlight the advice, support and services available through community pharmacies.

This year’s focus is to encourage men to take more active control of their medicines and their wellbeing. I will be visiting a local pharmacy this afternoon to see firsthand the work undertaken by community pharmacies.

On Sunday I will be joining local residents and organisations at the Remembrance Parade in Maltby.

We must never forget all the brave individuals who have lost their lives or have been injured in the service of this country. We must also think of the families of all those who have lost loved ones to conflict, and those who have relatives and friends currently serving in the Armed Forces.

My thanks go to everyone who helps organise the remembrance events that take place in our area at this time of year.

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