The ‘vast majority’ of the deaths from smoking are caused by ‘accidental’ smoking, according to the World Health Organization.
A new study has found that packaging can save lives by preventing accidental smoking.
But some manufacturers have been slow to adopt the latest design, or are failing to comply with safety standards.
Read moreThe study, which is the first to look at the effects of cigarette packaging on smoking deaths, finds that about 70 per cent of deaths caused by accidental smoking are due to “self-induced or unintentional” smoking, including people who accidentally fall on the packaging, fall down a flight of stairs, or break a bottle.
The findings, published in the Lancet medical journal on Thursday, came after a report by the WHO’s World Health Assembly that found “cigarettes can be a very effective tool for helping smokers quit”.
It also found that “many smokers would prefer not to have cigarettes in their mouths” but have no other option.
The study also found, however, that “most smokers would not want to quit completely” and that some who quit might want to smoke “just for a short period”.
“If a smoker has a low tolerance for cigarettes and does not feel they can quit completely, he or she might choose to smoke for a few months or even years,” the authors wrote.
“If this smoker can quit gradually, it may be a relatively safe option for most smokers.”‘
We have to stop smoking in the public health sector’The authors also highlighted the “high-risk” position of “cigarette packaging” – which contains the chemicals nicotine and tar.
“It is not a good idea to add tar or nicotine to cigarettes or any other product, especially one with a high risk of exposure,” the report said.
“The most effective way to prevent smoking is to reduce exposure to these chemicals.”‘
This is an industry-wide problem’The study found that of the 10 biggest cigarette manufacturers in the world, the “top five” were: VAP, which produces Vapro, K-K, and E-Cigarettes.VAP produces tobacco, cigar and pipe tobacco, and has been around since the 1930s.
E-Cigs, a company owned by British retailer Tesco, has been in the business for more than 50 years and is now owned by Swedish retailer Sainsbury’s.
It produces nicotine-free nicotine gum, menthol cigarettes, and e-cigarettes, and also produces the Vap brand.
“This is a company-wide issue,” VAP spokesperson John Smith told The Independent.
“We have a range of products which contain the chemicals, and we don’t want people to feel they need to switch to another brand.””VAP has worked with many leading companies around the world to develop the best possible packaging.
We have worked with the WHO to ensure we are in compliance with our regulations.”
Tesco, KKR and Sainsburys are among the big tobacco companies to have signed up to the WHO guidelines, which aim to “encourage the adoption of environmentally responsible packaging and reduce the risks of the combustion of tobacco”.
“This includes the use of recycled and alternative packaging materials,” a spokesperson said.
But the WHO said that it was “confident” that the latest packaging could be adopted without major changes.
“There are now more than 200 countries that have adopted some form of the guidelines and we believe it is a global trend,” said WHO’s chief of policy, Dr Maria Fekete.
“However, the WHO is working to make sure all countries have the tools they need in place to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoking.”
“There is a lot of work to be done in developing new packaging to reduce the exposure of children to the carcinogenic chemicals, as well as to ensure that existing packaging does not pose a health risk to young people.”‘
Smoking is a very difficult addiction’It is the second study to come out this year on the effect of cigarette advertising on smoking death rates.
A report published last year found that tobacco advertising has an adverse impact on cigarette consumption, but also “causes little or no impact on the tobacco use of adults.”
“Smoking addiction is a complex and difficult addiction, which has serious economic, health and social costs, and it is the duty of governments and health organisations to work together to tackle this issue,” the study said.
Read the report in full here