Bookham cancer ambassador calls for plain packaging for cigarettes
A CANCER ambassador is calling for people to back a campaign for plain packaging on cigarettes.
Nigel Lewis-Baker, of Bookham, was named Cancer Research UK Ambassador of the Year in 2011 and is now backing the campaign to have the rules changed on cigarette packet designs.
Mr Lewis-Baker, 66, has incurable prostate cancer and, when he was 14, his father died of lung cancer at the age of 60, due to smoking.
He said: "Through the years I have lost other friends from this same illness and their final days are not good for them or their loved ones.
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"I'm urging everyone in Leatherhead and Dorking areas to back Cancer Research UK's latest campaign – the answer is plain.
"Though my cancer wasn't caused by smoking, I want to do everything I can to protect young people from the frightening experiences I have been through."
The campaign calls for all branding to be removed from tobacco packaging to discourage children from starting to smoke.
The government is consulting on whether to put all tobacco in standardised 'plain' packs.
Mr Lewis-Baker said: "Glitzy packets are one of the last ways the tobacco industry can still market its lethal products and research shows that the striking logos and distinctive designs make cigarettes more appealing to children.
"This is not about 'the nanny state' and it's not about curbing the freedoms of adult smokers.
"It's about giving children one less reason to take up a deadly and addictive habit which kills half of all its long term users.
"The big tobacco companies are doing everything they can to stop this – but we've got to stand up to them and protect our children."
Mr Lewis-Baker is urging people to get involved by signing a petition set up by Cancer Research UK.
He said: "You can help Cancer Research UK to stub out tobacco marketing to children by signing the petition."
Visit www.theanswerisplain.org for more information and to sign the petition.