Government means business on smoking policy



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Monday 14 July 1997
ASH/ Press releases/
Press ReleaseASH News Release – 14 July 1997

Government means business on smoking policy

As the opening shots in the war on smoking were fired today, ASH welcomed the Government’s commitment to tackling the biggest preventable cause of death and disease in the UK.

Commenting on the outcome of the Anti-Smoking Summit held today, Clive Bates, Director of ASH said: “If anyone had any doubts at all about the Government’s commitment to reducing smoking they should be reassured by today’s conference. ASH is pleased that the Minister for Public Health, Tessa Jowell, promised to act quickly to get tobacco control legislation in place.

“The tobacco and advertising companies should take note that the lead time for a phased reduction in tobacco promotion starts now. With legislation likely to be enacted by 1999, sports bodies and others that currently rely on tobacco money have plenty of time to seek alternative funding.”

With the announcement that smoking rates among teenagers is still rising, Clive Bates said:”No-one can afford to be complacent about the alarming rise in smoking among young people. With an estimated 450 children taking up smoking every single day, urgent measures are needed to stop the continued recruitment of vulnerable youngsters by the tobacco companies. A ban on all tobacco promotion is essential but in order to reverse the current trend in teenage smoking other measures are also needed. These include:

  • a sustained increase in the price of tobacco of at least 7% per annum
  • the raising of the age limit for the purchase of cigarettes from 16 to 18
  • proper enforcement of the law and stiff penalties for retailers who break the law.”

ENDS


For more information contact:

Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902