‘Smoking kills’ could be printed onto every individual cigarette proposed under a new tobacco rule by MPs to encourage against smoking.
MPs have submitted an amendment to the health and care bill which was introduced in parliament during the summer. The proposal will allow the health secretary to make the decision over making the ‘smoking kills’ message mandatory on individual cigarettes.
Labour MP, Mary Kelly Foy as reported in The Guardian spoke about the necessity of the new proposal, “We know that cigarettes are cancer sticks and kill half the people who use them. So I hope that health warnings on cigarettes would deter people from being tempted to smoke in the first place, especially young people.
“I hope it would encourage some smokers to give up because if they are putting that in their mouth and seeing that message on cigarettes every time they smoke, I hope it would have the desired effect.”
Both Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Physicians, who represents hospital doctors are supporting the plan. Action is needed in order to achieve the government’s ambition for England to be smoke-free, with only 5% smoking by 2030.
The proposal has also been introduced separately as a private member’s bill into the House of Lords by the former Conservative Cabinet minister, Sir George Young, now a peer. The bill seeks to ensure cigarettes carry necessary warnings, like “smoking causes cancer”.
Cigarette packets at the moment already includes warning messages such as “smoking causes cancer” as well as images of people with smoking related diseases. However, Foy is pushing for tobacco firms to include health information inside cigarette packets.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) as reported by The Guardian said relating to this proposal that “warnings on cigarettes were suggested over 40 years ago by then health minister George Young. The tobacco companies, with breathtaking hypocrisy, protested that the ink would be toxic to smokers. The truth is cigarette stick warnings are toxic to big tobacco and this is an idea whose time has come.”
Foy’s new amendments would allow the government to impose a new levy on tobacco company profits, which could then be used to find stop smoking activities.
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