Sunday 18 March 2018

Packet colours can influence smokers

One in every 20 Irish smokers wrongly believes that a light colour on a pack of cigarettes signals that it is less hazardous.

The EU-wide survey also revealed that the same number incorrectly think the slimmer shape and size of a cigarette indicates they are less harmful.

Around 1,000 smokers in Ireland were surveyed as part of a Eurobarometer on the Attitudes of Europeans towards Tobacco.

Irish smokers still light up an average of 15.7 cigarettes every day, although this was slightly down by 0.3pc on previous survey in 2009.

The findings come in advance of the new regulations which will allow shocking pictures of throat cancer and rotting teeth to appear on cigarette packets in Ireland from next February.

All tobacco products placed on the market on or after that date have to comply with the regulations.

The full impact will take some time to kick in because any supplies on the market before February can continue to be sold or offered for sale for another year minus the stark images.

The survey found high numbers of smokers would like to see a range of tougher measures to make cigarette smoking less attractive.

• 90pc wanted picture health warnings on packs.

• 81pc wanted a ban on colours, logos and promotional elements from packs.

• 65pc want increased taxes

• 73pc want a ban on sale of cigarettes from vending machines.

Tobacco is the single largest cause of avoidable death in the EU. It accounts for around 700,000 premature deaths each year in the EU.

Seven thousand people die from smoking-related disease in Ireland every year and 90pc of lung cancers are caused by smoking. Half of all smokers will die from smoking-related diseases.

Smokers also have an increased risk of other cancers as well as heart disease, strokes, low birth weight and many other ailments.

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