‘Ban packs of 10 cigarettes to stop youngsters smoking’ says director of public health

Dr Andrew Furber.'w0473b950
Dr Andrew Furber.'w0473b950
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Smoking accounts for almost 600 deaths a year in Wakefield, according to the local director of public health, Dr Andrew Furber.

Earlier this week, he welcomed a vote by Euro MPs to tighten tobacco regulations. A new law has been proposed in EU parliament, which aims to make smoking less attractive to young people by banning packs of 10 cigarettes, and putting more health warnings on packaging.

He said: “We should all welcome the fact that MEPs have recognised the importance of increasing the size of health warnings.

“Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Wakefield District, so any initiatives which can help reduce smoking in the district are welcome.

“More importantly if we can convince young people not to take up the habit in the first place, we can greatly improve the health of the Wakefield community.”

The proposals coincide with the Stoptober quit initiative launched earlier this month by Smokefree Wakefield, which encourages smokers to stop smoking for 28 days.

Mr Furber said a ban of packs of 10 cigarettes could put the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes beyond the pocket of the average young person.

But the issue has brought a mixed reaction on the Express Facebook page, with some arguing banning packs of 10 would only force young people to buy packs of 20 and smoke more, and others calling for the price per pack to be increased to £10.

Go and join the debate at www.facebook.com and search for Wakefield Express.

Smokers looking to quit can find support and information at wakefieldstopsmoking.co.uk