Cigarettes could become green or warn of minutes of life lost, says smoking review leader

9 June 2022, 16:31

By Tim Dodd

The leader of an independent review into 'making smoking obsolete' has said cigarettes could become green or brown, or warn people of how many minutes of life they've lost, in an attempt to reduce their appeal.

It comes as Dr Javed Khan OBE's government commissioned review has suggested the age at which people can buy cigarettes should go up by a year every year, until the point where no-one can buy them.

Ministers want England to be smoke free by 2030. The plans would create a "smokefree generation", with people under a certain age unable to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products at all.

Shelagh asked Dr Khan why he wanted cigarettes to be coloured.

"Reducing the appeal is really important. Research shows that it has an effect," he said.

"For about 20 years we've had messages on cigarette packets. They don't have the impact that they used to have these days.

"There is some research which shows if you redesign the cigarette itself and you change the colour of the stick, for example, to some green or brown, it's far less appealing."

Read more: 'A dark day for drivers': Fuel prices soar above £100 for typical family car

Shelagh said that when she was at university people smoked cigarettes which were pastel shades and looked "pretty", so colours would need to be "off putting".

Dr Khan replied: "Research shows green and brown are off putting. But also putting messages on the stick itself, so with every couple of puffs you see a message that you're burning into that says 'you've just lost 5 minutes of your life'.

"And then the cigarette pack itself, putting inserts in there that not only remind you of the harm but also signpost smokers to the stop smoking services that can help them quit."

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