Cigarette packaging action plea by Tower Hamlet councillors

The Tower Hamlet mayor and health experts have called for the government to intervene over concerns about the influence of cigarette packaging to children.

According to statistics, one fifth of all deaths in the borough are linked to smoking, which is one of the biggest causes of death in the UK, with two thirds of smokers starting in their teens.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “Smoking is a childhood addiction and we need to take steps to prevent the targeting of young people by the tobacco industry.”

A public health research consortium report showed that current tobacco packaging is attractive and misleading, in particular to children.

Cllr Abdul Asad, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “The longer the delay, the more harm tobacco will cause to the next generation.”

Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health for the council added: “Preventing the uptake of smoking in Tower Hamlets is a huge public health priority. Very few people start smoking after the age of 25.”