Cllr Richard Kemp, the Liberal Democrat Leader in Liverpool welcomes the ban on child-friendly menthol favoured cigarettes as new figures show 951 Liverpool children taking up smoking each year.
Newly published figures show that in a year according to Action on Smoking and Health 951 children aged 11-15 years old start smoking in Liverpool highlighting the need to do more to tackle youth smoking. Which is why Liverpool’s Liberal Democrats welcome the ban on sale of menthol flavoured cigarettes which comes into force on Wednesday 20th May 2020.
Menthol is a popular starter product for children as menthol makes it easier to smoke and to inhale deep into the lungs. Menthol smokers are also more likely to become heavily addicted and find it harder to quit. The ban on menthol is the logical next step in the Government’s tobacco control strategy to deliver its ambition for England to be smoke free by 2030, while reducing inequalities.
The evidence is clear that two thirds of the 951 children who start smoking in Liverpool every year will go on to become daily smokers. It is better to not start smoking in the first place than to have to quit, which can take as many as 30 attempts. Many of those who experiment will become lifelong smokers, suffering serious smoking-related diseases and premature death. That’s why we support the ban on menthol cigarettes, which we know make it easier for children to start smoking and harder for them to quit. It is hard for us to deal with this problem, even with no pandemic on, when our public health budget has been cut by about 30% in real terms since 2015.We should also remember that a very high proportion of those dying of Covid-19 have had sever bronchial problems and smoking is a major cause of these.
Children whose parents smoke are nearly three times as likely to become smokers themselves highlighting the importance of doing more to help adults quit. That’s why Liverpool is providing support for smokers which can triple their chances of success.
The smoking rates in Liverpoolis 14.7% amounting to 58,787 smokers, with 355 people dying from smoking each year. The best thing any smoker can do for their health and wellbeing is to quit, to protect themselves and others from life threatening diseases, and reduce the impact of smoking on health and social care services.
Full details of all English performance on smoking can be found at Public Health England https://bit.ly/2WAmHiJ