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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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The big debate - plain packaging of cigarettes

As lung cancer advocates, I'm really interested to know your thoughts on plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.

As you may know, the UK Government has committed to carrying out a public consultation on plain packaging of tobacco products this Spring.

We are supporting this campaign because there is good evidence* that they:

1. are less attractive, particularly to young people;

2. make the health warnings stand out more; and

3. reduce the ability of the packaging to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer but as a lung cancer advocate, I am aware there is often reluctance to talk about smoking issues, particularly as we all feel that it adds to the stigma.

As a charity, our stance is that we are anti-tobacco not anti-smoker and that no one deserves lung cancer, whether they've smoked or not.

The idea of plain packaging is to discourage young people from starting to smoke in the first place and ultimately reduce the numbers of people who go on to develop smoking-related lung cancer in the future.

I've attached a picture of what the packs might look like if the government decides to introduce them.

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on this, and also, if you are moved to support the campaign, you can sign up and email your local MP about the issue here roycastle.org/news-and-camp...

* Plain packaging of tobacco products: A review of the evidence. Cancer Council Victoria, 2011

4 Replies

The most important aim of campaigns of this nature is to make smoking less attractive to young people who think it is cool to smoke and impress their peers without realising the longterm health problems smoking causes. Packaging should carry warnings, pictures and the cost in health and money to themselves and those around them.


As former smoker who went on to develope lung cancer through this habit,I have obviously regetted having ever smoked.Its now more than three years since I have last puffed on a cigar,I never gave much thought to the risk I was taking through smoking,why you may ask why?,well for all the friends and relatives I knew that smoked,not one of them developed lung cancer.However,when I was diagnosed,one of my work collegues told me her husband had died with lung cancer,which was rather strange,because a couple of years previous she told me he had died of a brain tumour,I also believed my wifes cousin had died with breast cancer,as we believed for years until my dx her husband confided in me that it was lung cancer.I think it was Sonny Liston the boxer in America who died recently from cancer,in the American press it was from Lung Cancer,in the London Times obituaries it was simply cancer?.Why dont we in the UK just call a spade a spade,Lung Cancer is killing 42,000 UK citizens each year,its time to stop this.I am all in favour of making cigarettes less attractive in many different ways,introducing plain wrapping of cigarette packets is helpful,however,if I remember the enjoyment smoking cigars were for me in my heyday years,I dont think the appearance of the packet would be too persausive in getting me weaned off them.Removing them from view in shops etc is also a good idea.I have a friend who was at his doctor recently about a chest complaint,the doctor asked him "Do you smoke?"my friend Jim answered-"I used to"," when did you stop?" asks his doctor.My friend says "the day the government put them up to 4 shillings and sixpence".There is your real answer, the most effective way to discourage everyone to stop smoking,tax them out of existance,it would take real political nerve to do this,but in the long run the electorate would applaud them.


Ooops sorry everyone,seems I have double clicked,perhaps the editor could delete one?.


All fixed Eric. Thanks for your comments everyone, very interesting


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