by Anne Trueman on  April 17, 2013 at 1:46 PM Health In Focus
Child Smokers on Rise, Says Cancer Research UK
Scientists claim that in recent years there has been a rise in children consuming tobacco - an alarming figure of 50,000 in one year. Cancer Research UK, the country's leading cancer charity, stated that in 2011, around 207,000 children in the age group of 11 to 15 years resorted to smoking as compared to 157,000 kids in 2010. This meant that almost 567 children took up smoking each day.

According to a study conducted by The Cancer Research UK, one in every three children (27 percent) under-15 years have tried smoking at least once in life. The researchers requested the Government authorities to make it mandatory to put all cigarettes in standardized packs. Last April, the Government accepted the request by making the packaging of tobacco products mandatory. The step was welcomed by health campaigners while some were of the view that it has increased the smuggling of tobacco products and the loss of jobs of many.

Sarah Woolnough, the Executive Director of the policy and information at Cancer Research UK, mentioned, "With such a large number of youngsters starting to smoke every year, urgent action is needed to tackle the devastation caused by tobacco. Replacing slick, brightly-colored packs that appeal to children with standard packs displaying prominent health warnings is a vital part of efforts to protect health. Reducing the appeal of cigarettes with plain, standardized packs will give millions of children one less reason to start smoking. These figures underline the importance of sustained action to discourage young people from starting. Smoking kills and is responsible for at least 14 different types of cancer. Standardized packaging is popular with the public and will help protect children. She added, We urge the Government to show their commitment to health and introduce plain, standardized packs as soon as possible."

Australia, in December, became the first nation in the entire world to put tobacco products in standardized packs. Tobacco products are sold in standardized color packs with graphic warnings and only the brand name imprinted on the pack.

The scientists are hopeful that these steps will prove to be effective in controlling the use of tobacco among the young generation. Awareness should be cultivated among children not to use tobacco and related products.

Source: Medindia

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