'Tobacco marketing harmful to kids'

May 16, 2012, 3:42 PM GMT+0

84% UK adults say children shouldn't be exposed to tobacco marketing; 79% agree is harmful

The majority of UK adults believe that children should not be exposed to any tobacco marketing, while four out of five of the 4,099 people interviewed believe that tobacco marketing is harmful to children. according to new data published by Cancer Research UK this week.

  • 84% of UK adults say that children shouldn't be exposed to tobacco marketing
  • 79% believe that tobacco marketing is harmful to children
  • 69% agree that the stylish, colourful branding, striking logos and distinctive packet design makes cigarettes more appealing to children

The results come in light of Government consultations over whether to put all tobacco in packs of uniform size, shape and design, with large health warnings front and back.

  • When asked about how brand aware children are, 24% of parents and grandparents of children under the age of 18 said that they thought it was important for their oldest child or grandchild to have specific branded goods**
  • Although 51% said their oldest child or grandchild didn’t ask for any branded goods, 84% of those that did, said that the child or grandchild in question was under 15 at the time

Brightly coloured

Cancer Research UK has recently released a film highlighting the response that brands and tobacco packaging elicits from children, while the charity also says that children respond positively to brightly coloured and slickly designed cigarette packs, with boys and girls finding different brands and packs appealing.

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, commented on the research, saying that "the British people clearly support action to get rid of one of the last ways the tobacco industry can market its products. Most parents know their children are very attached to certain brands and cleverly designed packaging plays a significant role in maintaining that attraction.

But when we are talking about tobacco then it’s time to change the law. And our survey shows the vast majority of people support our stance on this."

See the survey details and full results here

See more on Cancer Research UK's petition and campaign to remove branding from tobacco packaging www.theanswerisplain.org

** If the respondents had more than 1 child/ grandchild under the age of 18, they were asked to think about the eldest child/ grandchild who is under 18.