Thousands of children’s lives will be put at risk if the government backs down on plans to introduce standardised cigarette packaging, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) has warned.
The CPHVA, which represents health visitors and school nurses, said that the Queen’s Speech tomorrow (Wednesday 8 May) will be the litmus test to see whether legislation for standardised packaging has been dropped by David Cameron.
CPHVA professional officer for public health Ros Godson said: “The litmus test will be if the government has proposals for the appropriate legislation in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow.
“If ministers walk away from this issue - when Cancer Research UK evidence shows that 570 children in the UK take up smoking every day - they will have failed this and the next generation of young people.
“Thousands of children’s lives will be put at risk – and the scarce resources of the NHS will be stretched even further.
“Research has shown that standardised packaging does not put in jeopardy the jobs of those working in the tobacco industry – but it can actively deter young people taking up this dangerous pastime.
“Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary, is right to say that David Cameron, who promised to get tough on smoking and alcohol abuse, has caved into big business and vested interests – yet again.”
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