United Kingdom - aggressive anti-smoking campaign to protect children..

December 15, 2009 - Stopping parents lighting up at home, or in cars, if they are with their children will form part of an aggressive new anti-smoking campaign to be launched by ministers this week.

Back in October 2008, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) called for a debate in England on banning smoking in all cars with kids present..

The Government will also announce it plans to go ahead with a ban on all advertising on tobacco packaging. That measure would mean in future cigarettes could only be purchased under the counter in packets. They would be marked only with government health warnings.

UK - Richard Branson makes high-profile plea for tobacco control measures to protect children..

At the heart of the drive is a new commitment to halve the number of adults who smoke by 2020. The current Department of Health target, which they claim to be on target to meet, is to reduce smoking prevalence to one in five people by next year. To reduce that to one in 10 a series of measures designed to stop young people taking up the habit will be unveiled.

Central to it will be an aggressive marketing campaign that aims to persuade parents to stop smoking in front of impressionable young children.
Other measures will include:
- a commitment to continued real-terms increases in tobacco duty to keep the price of cigarettes rising;
- more stringent implementation of guidelines on smoking in films and television programmes;
- new controls on the marketing of tobacco accessories;
- further investment in accessible and effective NHS "stop smoking" services; and
- imposing a total ban on smoking and the sale of cigarettes within the London 2012 Olympic site.

A similar ban on parents smoking is in place in several American states and cities. Other US authorities have made smoke-free cars and homes a condition of allowing people to foster children. (Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect..)

In Britain, calls to ban parents smoking in cars have been led by Professor Terence Stephenson, President of the Royal College of Paediatric Health. He said recently: “Why on earth would you light up in your car whilst your children are sitting quite happily in the back? On the assumption that you wouldn't pass the packet round and invite the kids to light up, why make them breathe tobacco smoke at all? “You can't inflict this on your colleagues at work any more. Why should we treat our children's health as a lower priority than our employees?” (More evidence - vehicles most dangerous space for second-hand smoke inhalation..)

Labour will be accused by some of introducing more “nanny state” rules. Prof Stephenson added: “If you act to make people safer, you get accused of introducing the nanny state. If you let people make their own decisions, you get accused of neglect. “It's extremely sensible, common sense - but is seen by some as too draconian and the trickling of nanny state rules again.”

Whitehall (Whitehall is often used to refer to the government of the United Kingdom) sources say that a new law has not been ruled out, despite nervousness among some ministers. Prof Stephenson’s views are said to be “persuasive", one source said. The source pointed to how opinion changed on an all-out ban on smoking in public places. Despite fearing a public backlash, MPs (members of parliament) voted through a complete ban three years ago.

The Government previously consulted on a packaging ban in 2008, but shied away from its introduction due to fears about its impact on the tobacco industry. (UK - House of Lords -debate on tobacco plain packaging..)

However, it is understood that Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, still has reservations over some of the measures. While Lord Mandelson remains opposed to the measure, Andy Burnham, Health Secretary, wants to press ahead, subject to an evaluation of the likely impact.

Mr Burnham would point to statistics that show while there are 2.4 million fewer smokers in Britain than when Labour came to power in 1997, more than 80,000 people still die in England every year, and the annual costs to the NHS are estimated to be £2.7 billion (3.02 billion EURO, 4.39 billion USD).

Unlike the build-up to the ban on smoking in public places there are no longer champions within the Cabinet prepared to speak up for smokers. John Reid, who held several Cabinet posts under Tony Blair, once remarked that for many working class people a cigarette was one of the few things to look forward too. Gordon Brown gave up his 30-a-day habit in 1982.

Members of Parliament (MPs, House of Commons) voted on Monday (12 October 2009) in favor of a ban on tobacco displays in shops and cigarette vending machines in a move that the government believes will help stop young people taking up smoking.

Smoke-free legislation was enforced across the United Kingdom (UK) by July 2007 (England - July 1, 2007, Scotland - March 26, 2006, Wales - April 2, 2007, Northern Ireland - April 30, 2007).

For more news briefs on the United Kingdom do a random search..

Reference: Parents face ban on smoking in front of children A ban on parents smoking in front of their children is being considered by the Government by Andrew Porter, Political Editor, Telegraph.co.uk, 12/13/2009.
United Kingdom, UK, Britain, British Isles, Northern Ireland

Some related news briefs:
United Kingdom - public smoking ban does not lead to more smoking at home..;
UK - NHS Trust - smoking your body takes a beating film..;
United Kingdom - Packaging people - tobacco display ban - Counterfeit cigarettes could thrive..;
UK - Retailer tells small shops to ignore tobacco industry 'scare tactics'..;
UK - Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) unhappy with tobacco displays ban..;
United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...



December 16, 2009 at 3:15 AM