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In the news: Smoking

Average: 3.7 (28 votes)

Do you smoke?

Did you know the UK government are trying to pass a law banning branding on packs of cigarettes.

If they are successful tobacco manufactuers will be forced to sell their cigarettes in plain packets.

The motivation behind this decision is to make smoking less appealing to people, especially children.

A similar law was passed in Australia in 2012 that has resulted in a fall in smoking rates from 15.1% to 12.8% for people aged 14.

As of January 2015, 22% of adult men and 17% of adult women smoke in Great Britain.

The likelihood of smoking in the UK increases with age so that by 15 years of age 8% of school children are regular smokers.

Impressionable children, it is thought, will be less attracted to cigarettes sold in unbranded boxes.

The average price for a packet of cigarettes is now £7.98, according to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association.

About 77 per cent (£6.17) on a packet of cigarettes is tax. In 2013-14 the UK government received £9.5 billion in revenue from tobacco tax.

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England.

Every year 80,000 die and over 450,000 are admitted to hospital due to smoking.

This places a large strain on the health service and is also a factor in why the government wish to prevent people from taking up smoking or help them quit.

What are your views on this? Leave your comments below.

Key Words

ban - make illegal
plain - simple, boring and not attractive
appealing - attractive
likelihood the chance or probability
impressionable - easy to influence
packet - small container
revenue - large amounts of money received by governments
tax - the money that is paid to the government from what you buy
preventable - something that can be stopped
admitted - allowed to enter
strain - problem or pressure
health service - the free medical system in the uk
take up - to start doing a particular activity
quit - to stop doing an activity

Now decide if these statements are true or false:


  • 1) The UK government want to make smoking illegal.

  • 2) The proposal primarily targets children.

  • 3) This idea reduced the amount of young smokers in Australia.

  • 4) More women than men smoke in the UK.

  • 5) The majority of money spent on cigarettes goes to the government.

  • 6) Nearly half a million people die from smoking in the UK every year.

  • 7) The amount of smokers needing medical treatment is a problem.