England North West - Teenager champions fight for plain cigarette packs..

March 13, 2011 - North West England.. Anti-smoking campaigner Ayiesha Emms, 16, from Barrow. The Furness College student is fronting Smokefree North West’s campaign for plain packaging on cigarettes and removing tobacco displays from shops. Ms. Emms has joined the fight to introduce tough new measures to prevent children from taking up smoking. Anti-smoking campaigner Ayiesha Emms, 16, is fronting Smokefree North West’s campaign to remove tobacco displays and introduce plain packaging on cigarettes. (UK - Richard Branson makes high-profile plea for tobacco control measures to protect children..)

The proposals also form part of the government’s new tobacco plan, which was announced this week to coincide with No Smoking Day on Wednesday.
United Kingdom - Health Secretary to announce businesses to stop displaying tobacco tomorrow..; UK - Tobacco Plan A Victory For Public Health...

It is hoped that the measures would help existing smokers kick the habit and stop younger people taking it up.

Ayiesha has added her voice to the campaign as part of her work with Smoke and Mirrors, Smokefree North West young person’s action group made up of 14 to 18-year-olds from across the region.

Professor John Ashton, director of public health for NHS Cumbria, said: “It’s a positive step to see that the government is taking the issue of smoking seriously, and acting to try and reduce the influence that the tobacco industry has on young people.

“Every year around 900 people in Cumbria die from a smoking-related illness and we know that the majority of smokers start in adolescence. “The tobacco industry then works harder to recruit new smokers to replace those it looses, so tackling this issue is one of our biggest public health issues.”

Andrea Crossfield, director of Smokefree North West said: “The government has proved its commitment to putting children’s health before tobacco industry profits and should be congratulated for doing so.

“We look forward to the UK being the first country in Europe to put tobacco in plain packs, setting the standard for others to follow and for paving the way for making smoking history for all our children in the North West.”

The health and social care student at Furness College attended a protest campaigning for plain packaging on cigarettes, and addressed an international tobacco control conference last year.

She said: “I agree with the plain packaging for the sole purpose of there not being any attention drawn to the display and this hopefully making young people less inclined to allow themselves to be exploited by shiny packets or limited edition pink cigarettes.”

North West death rates from smoking amongst worst in country, but quitting is on the up and smoking related disease is falling. October 27, 2010 in Whats Happening

Reference: Teenager champions fight for plain cigarette packs, North_West Evening Mail, nwemail.co.uk, 3/12/2011