To stop smoking, cigarettes could be coloured brown or green

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Cigarettes could be coloured brown or green to help people give up smoking.

Leading a significant government review on smoking, Dr. Javed Khan stated he would be keeping an eye out for the recommendation in Rishi Sunak’s new smoking laws. As of right now, the much awaited Tobacco and Vaping Bill prohibits anyone born on or after January 1, 2009, from ever purchasing tobacco products. In an effort to combat the rising number of kids developing the habit, it was also declared last week that disposable vapes will be prohibited.

Speaking to MPs on the Commons’ Health and Social Care committee, Dr Khan listed recommendations from his report he hopes ministers “embrace” in the Bill. “Cigarette sticks themselves should have writing on them telling them that they’ve just lost 20 minutes of their life from the last puff they’ve had,” he said.

“Any one thing is not going to be enough but it’s a collective approach. Changing the colour of cigarettes, changing them to brown and green, they are far less attractive. I wasn’t aware of that, why those two colours, but that’s what the research shows. I think we need to learn from that and I think we need to embrace as much of that as possible.”

Speaking about cigarette packets, he added: “I’m saying the packet should be changed. We should have inserts within them that help people understand the effect, that refer them to stop smoking services and to websites that give them more information.”

Dr Khan’s report, which reviewed the Government’s ambition to make England smokefree by 2030, said there was need “to reduce the appeal of smoking”. His recommendations included: “Mandating anti-smoking messages on cigarette sticks, such as the number of ‘minutes of life lost’ per cigarette [and] using dissuasive colours (like green or brown) on individual cigarette sticks or hand-rolling papers.”

Canada became the first country to print warning messages directly on cigarettes last August. New packaging features labels on each cigarette with phrases like: “Cigarettes cause cancer” and “Poison in every puff”.

Dr Khan told MPs that “nothing should be off the table” in helping England become smokefree by 2030 – achieved when adult smoking prevalence falls to 5% or less. He suggested smoking should be banned in all public areas, from hospitals to public beaches, and that smoking on TV should be banned before the watershed at 9pm. “Some people think this is going too far but I think it’s part of the cultural journey we want to shift to as a country to be able to celebrate that we’re going to be a smoke-free country,” he said.

Dr Khan welcomed the Government’s proposals to ban disposable vapes but reiterated that a “balance” needs to be struck between discouraging kids from vaping and ensuring adult smokers can access vaping as a method to quit, as he said vaping was around 95% safer than smoking a cigarette.

Imperial Hospital Sylhet

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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