Concern Over Number of Youngsters Smoking in Weymouth and Portland
1:20pm 29th August 2013
Wessex FM has been finding out how over 20 children every month starts smoking in Weymouth and Portland.
The shocking figures have been released by Cancer Research UK and relate to 11 to 15 year olds in the seaside towns.
The charity has called the numbers "worrying".
They're calling on the Government to enforce plain packaging rules on fag packets.
According to research, children find standard packs less appealing and are less likely to be misled by the sophisticated marketing techniques designed to make smoking attractive to youngsters.
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Dorset, said: "The excitement of starting a new term is in stark contrast to the reality of the number of children who will start smoking every day. In the South West alone, this is over 16,400 children every year.
"With many 11-year-olds starting secondary school for the first time, it's imperative that we try to help our local youngsters by 'setting the standard' and protecting them from tobacco marketing. That's why we are renewing our appeal to the government for cigarettes to be sold in plain, standard packs rather than in the glitzy branding that make cigarettes more alluring to young people."