Cheshire East Council is supporting the introduction of a new, standardised packaging for all cigarettes in order to effectively promote the dangers of smoking.
These regulations came into force on May 20, and consist of larger health warnings which must cover 65 per cent of the front and back of packaging, one standardised brown-green colour and the prohibiting of misleading information on packaging, such as ‘low-tar’ or ‘organic’. This is alongside the discontinuation of cigarettes being sold in packets of less than 20.
Cancer Research UK confirms there is evidence that removing branding from cigarette packs reduces their attractiveness to children. So this alteration to packaging aims to combat the two-thirds of smokers who take up the habit before they are 18.
Smoking causes around 50 per cent of deaths from lung cancer, 80 per cent of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema and 14 per cent of deaths from heart disease. Any measures taken to reduce this death toll will greatly benefit the health and lifespan of people.
Due to the difficulty some find in stopping smoking, Cheshire East Council has set up ‘One You Cheshire East’ stop smoking services to provide free, friendly advice and support to local people.
These include services available in the community, which are open to any resident who wishes to stop smoking, alongside specialist services from the One You Cheshire East ‘Kickstart Service’ which are aimed at:
● Pregnant women and their partners – because smoking while pregnant can lead to premature birth, miscarriage, still birth and cot death;
● Mental health service users. Stopping smoking, if you have mental health issues, is as effective as antidepressants in improving your mood; and
● People who have been in hospital and have recently been discharged. As a patient you will find quitting makes you less prone to infection, helps you recover more quickly and your wounds heal better too.
Fiona Reynolds, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “These new regulations are a positive step towards combating the serious health risks associated with smoking.
At Cheshire East Council, we know how difficult it is to kick the habit, which is why we’re pleased to provide a range of extensive help and advice services to support residents to quit smoking – totally free of charge.”
To receive help and advice from One You Cheshire East, all you have to do to qualify, is to live in the borough and be over the age of 12. To speak to someone about quitting smoking, please call 0800 085 8818, or visit the One You website at: www.oneyoucheshireeast.org.
Residents are also urged to take the online quiz on the website, to assess their daily lifestyle and advice on how they can improve their health.