Government fail to improve UK health

This comes after today’s announcement from the Department of Health that standardised plain packaging of tobacco will be put on hold until the impact of the decision to do likewise in Australia can be measured.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'Obviously we take very seriously the potential for standardised packaging to reduce smoking rates, but in light of the differing views, we have decided to wait until the emerging impact of the decision in Australia can be measured, and then we will make a decision in England.”

The British Dental Health Foundation believes the government has not only missed an opportunity to improve levels of health in the UK, they have also given into tobacco lobbyists and in doing so jeopardised thousands of lives.

Nearly one in six adults in the UK smoke and more than half of all current smokers will die through a tobacco-related illness. Tobacco is still the biggest cause of mouth cancer, a disease experts forecast will rise over the next decade.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: 'We believe the government has made the wrong choice. Plain packaging is essential to reduce the number of young people taking up the habit and while it will not stop everyone, it would go some way to make the product look less enticing on the shelf to current smokers.

'More people die from mouth cancer than they will from cervical and testicular cancer combined, and more worryingly the disease is one of a few set to increase in the next ten years. The Foundation has lobbied for plain packaging to help reduce the number of people at risk of developing mouth cancer.

'That is why the government must re-visit and reverse this decision as soon as possible. The longer they wait the more lives are put at risk.'

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