Some members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament think the current labeling on cigarettes is smoke and mirrors.
Members of Parliament introduced legislation that would require individual cigarettes to be labeled with "smoking kills," raise the age requirement for purchasing cigarettes from 18 to 21, ban sweet or fruity flavors for electronic cigarettes that entice children and young people to smoke, and make it illegal to give away free e-cigarettes as a part of promotions.
"Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in England, killing 74,600 people in 2019," Labour MP Mary Kelly Foy, who introduced the proposal, said Wednesday. "That's why I've tabled amendments to the Health and Care Bill with the aim of reducing smoking levels and to make big tobacco pay for their pollution."
Foy said she hoped the warning labels "would deter people from being tempted to smoke in the first place, especially young people."
"I hope it would encourage some smokers to give up because if they are putting that in their mouth and seeing that message on cigarettes every time they smoke, I hope it would have the desired effect," she continued, according to multiple outlets.
The proposal is part of a government initiative to make England smoke-free, defined as fewer than 5% of people smoking, by 2030.
Though the measure received bipartisan support, with Conservative MP Bob Blackman endorsing Foy's amendment, it was met with backlash from some on the Right.
"Absolutely nuts," Nigel Farage, a former Member of Parliament, wrote.
U.K. smoke products already require extensive warning labels advising of health risks on the packaging's exterior.
"There are huge, impossible-to-miss health warnings on every pack of cigarettes, including grotesque images of smoking-related diseases," said Simon Clark, director of pro-smoking group Forest. "If adults still choose to smoke that is a matter for them, not the government."
Smoking has seen a global uptick in recent months. The number of smokers around the world hit an all-time high of 1.1 billion, a medical journal's study found in May.
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Original Author: Virginia Aabram
Original Location: UK may require individual cigarettes to carry 'smoking kills' label