The first cigarettes in new standardised packaging are starting to appear on sale across the country, and North Yorkshire residents are being asked to look out for them and ‘track the pack’.
New laws that came in to force in May gave manufacturers up to a year to switch to standardised drab green packs, but after just a few months the first packs are starting to be seen out and about. The packs carry graphic images of the damage smoking can do and have bigger health warnings. They are designed to make smoking less appealing to children and young people.
‘‘Since Australia introduced standardised packs in 2012, the number of young people who have never smoked has been rising” said Councillor David Chance, North Yorkshire Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities . “So the sight of the new packs means that hopefully we can look forward to the same thing happening here – which is great news for our young peoples’ future health.”
Social media is being used to encourage people to report sightings of the new packaging and add to a ‘Track the Pack Map.’ Anyone spotting a pack can Tweet an image and the location using the hashtag #trackthepack. It’s an idea from Breathe 2025, Yorkshire and Humber’s collaborative tobacco alliance. To track the packs, visit www.breathe2025.org.uk/track-the-pack and Tweet to @breathe2025
Whilst the numbers of people smoking has decreased over the years in North Yorkshire13.3% of North Yorkshire residents aged over 18 currently smoke and the County Council’s ‘Growing up in North Yorkshire’ survey showed that 6% of 15 year olds students regularly smoke..
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said, “If you do smoke, now’s a great time to quit – there’s lots of support available to help you to succeed.”
North Yorkshire residents including young people 12+ who wish to quit smoking can access a range of free support from Smokefreelife North Yorkshire visit www.smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk, call 0800 2465215 or 01609 663023 or text QUIT to 66777. A range of support is available to suit the individual, including group sessions, one-to-one support, telephone support, and medication.