A New Law in England May Protect Children from Smoking

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General dentistry news A new law to protect children against tobacco promotion and smoking has become active in the UK. The law says that all the major stores and supermarkets in England are to cover up cigarettes and other tobacco products so that they are less likely to be viewed by the public.

It is thought that displaying cigarettes in shops encourages children and young adults to begin smoking. Statistics say that there are 8 million smokers throughout England. This means that smoking is among the leading preventable causes of death in the country. The statistics suggest that smoking kills nearly 80,000 individuals per year. The numbers also show that 5% of children between 11 and 15 are smokers, and each year, around 300,000 children under 16 try to smoke. In addition, 39% of smokers in England say they started this habit before they were 16.

Thanks to the new law, children will not see tobacco products in shops, which potentially means they are more protected from starting the habit. Anne Milton, Health Minister, said “We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into smoking by colorful, eye-catching, cigarette displays. Most adult smokers started smoking as teenagers and we need to stop this trend.” She added “Banning displays of cigarettes and tobacco will help young people resist the pressure to start smoking and help the thousands of adults in England who are currently trying to quit.”

Jo Butcher, program director of health and well-being at the National Children's Bureau, said that the Bureau is welcoming the new law. He explained “Children and young people tell us that outside influences make it even more difficult for them to choose healthier lifestyles. A yet to be released National Children's Bureau health survey has found that more than one in four young people felt they needed more information about the health effects of drugs, alcohol or tobacco.”

Mr. Butcher continued “It's essential that we create a culture that promotes and protects public health and tobacco legislation is a significant factor in making this happen.”