- By Deborah Arnott
- Chief Executive
- Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
In the UK, smoking kills around 100,000 people a year (1). To replace those who quit or die, the tobacco industry has to continually recruit new smokers. As most people start smoking before they’re 18 it is children and young people who the industry must recruit (2). Advertising and marketing has been shown to increase the appeal of cigarettes to children and tobacco manufacturers design their packs to be glitzy and glamorous with often novel designs resembling such things as perfume packaging.
This is a tactic that works: around 207,000 young people start smoking annually in the UK (3) and exposure to tobacco marketing has been shown to increase this risk (4). Children from the most deprived backgrounds, where smoking prevalence is highest, are most likely to be exposed to tobacco packaging (5). Of those who become lifetime smokers…
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