Cigarette adverts spared from ban

ANGER is growing among health educators that the Government will miss a golden health-promotion opportunity by refusing to propose banning cigarette advertising in its White Paper Health of the Nation, due to be published on Wednesday.

It will be the first preventive medicine legislation to set targets for health improvement, but it will not tackle cigarette advertising.

The tobacco industry argues that banning advertising does not influence tobacco sales and the Government maintains that its voluntary agreement with the industry is sufficient.

'We have achieved a good record with the tobacco industry and we do not feel it necessary to go down the road of legislation,' a spokesman for the Department of Health said yesterday.

Yesterday Robin Cook, Labour's health spokesman, welcomed efforts to improve public health but criticised the stance on tobacco. 'Smoking causes more premature deaths than any other preventable activity. The litmus test is whether Conservative ministers can forget that Imperial Tobacco gave them 2,000 poster sites in the election - and put the health of the nation before the health of the party,' he said.

A new report from New Zealand in the British Journal of Addiction, published at the weekend, says that advertising bans are effective provided cigarette prices are not allowed to fall in relation to incomes. Referring to 'near flat' downward sales graphs after bans in Nordic countries, it claims 'the falling real price (of cigarettes) and rising incomes were tending to raise consumption, counteracting the advertising ban'.

'A total ban on tobacco advertising is one of the most powerful policy instruments that any government can use to create smoke free and healthier lives for its citizens,' the survey from Wellington, New Zealand, says.

'Although tobacco manufacturers claim otherwise, tobacco advertising bans reduce tobacco consumption below that which it otherwise would have been, assuming other factors remain the same.'

Proposals in the White Paper have been widely leaked. They include setting targets for a reduction in teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and improved treatment for people suffering from mental ill health.

The total estimated cost to the health services for treating anxiety and depression is pounds 4.6bn, and for schizophrenia pounds 2.7bn. Mental health accounts for 23 per cent of inpatient costs.

The White Paper is expected to seek a reduction in the suicide rate by 25 per cent but not, as anticipated by the Green Paper, to use as a measure of progress a reduction in the number of discharges from mental hospitals.

On sexual health it will seek better sex education in schools and a halving of the number of pregnancies in girls under 16, by 2000. About 8,800 pregnancies a year are in this age group. Half end in abortion.

The White Paper target for smoking will be to reduce from a third to a fifth the number of adults who continue to smoke.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor