Updated: Saturday, 25th May 2019 @ 8:13am

Fight (to)bacc: Salford teenager rallies against 'glitzy' smoking packaging ads to help save young lives

Fight (to)bacc: Salford teenager rallies against 'glitzy' smoking packaging ads to help save young lives

| By Chris White

A Salford teenager has called on the Government to bring in standardised tobacco packaging in a bid to save youngsters from sending their lives up in smoke.

Saleh Gadri Audhali, 17, targeted tobacco marketing tactics at an event on the power of cigarette packaging this week.

The event, organised by Tobacco Free Futures, explored how tobacco companies use ‘glitzy’ and sophisticated packaging to entice youngsters into a life time of addiction.

This comes after the recent announcement by Whitehall that they would ‘proceed as swiftly as possible’ in bringing forward legislation to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco products.

Audhali, who attended the event with Salford integrated youth support service, said: “I don’t smoke and I wasn’t aware of how clever the tobacco industry is in targeting young people through packaging.

“The packaging used is attractive to young people, especially the glittery and appealing packs which are attractive to girls. The standard packs are not as appealing and I think less people would smoke if they were introduced.

“I would like to see standardised packaging introduced by the Government because better warnings and images would shock young people and put them off starting smoking.”

POWER OF PACKAGING: Saleh Gadri Audhali, 17, is taking on tobacco marketing tactics

The event follows the outcome of the government-backed independent review from Sir Cyril Chantler on standardised packaging, which concluded that changing the appearance of the boxes cigarettes are sold in would ‘contribute to a modest but important reduction in smoking prevalence, especially in children and young adults’.

Across the North West, 64% of the public are now in favour of standardised tobacco packaging according to a recent YouGov survey, with only 11% opposing.

David Herne, Interim Director of Public Health for Salford City Council, said: “It’s great to see young people in Salford taking an interest in tobacco industry tactics and making a stand against marketing through cigarette packaging.

“Investing in educating young people now is important to prevent them entering into an addiction before they know what addiction is. Events like today are an effective way of engaging and inspiring young people to learn more and get involved.

“I hope they will now go on to educate their families and friends, inspiring change across their communities.”

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to bring together young people today to find out more about the tobacco industry and why standardised packaging is needed.

“Glitzy, colourful and glamorous cigarette packaging helps to attract the next generation of tobacco industry customers to replace the one-in-two smokers who die from their addiction.

“Unfortunately, we see 18,000 young people take up smoking every year in the North West and this is something that needs to be prevented.

“We know that support for standardised packaging in Salford is strong, with over 1,500 people urging the government to remove branding and protect children during a public consultation in 2012.

“I hope that the Government will listen and implement legislation to prevent children being targeted in the future.”

Image courtesy of Ed Schipul with thanks