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Onus on Tobacco Firms to Cut Smoking
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Onus on Tobacco Firms to Cut Smoking

Tobacco companies should pay an annual levy to cover the cost of helping people to stop smoking, says a news report by the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) group.
Campaigners in Britain have warned of a “startling and widening” health gap in society – as Britons living below the poverty line are more likely to live in a household that smokes.
The group also wants the British government to set ambitious targets to make tobacco use less prolific nationwide. At present, 19% people smoke – but this should be slashed to 5% in the next 20 years, the group says, reports skynews.com.
ASH is the name of a number of autonomous pressure groups/charities throughout the world which seek to publicize the risks associated with tobacco smoking and campaign for greater restrictions on cigarette and tobacco sales.
It recommends that anti-smoking films be shown before TV shows and films which feature people smoking – especially if they are likely to be seen by children.
According to the group, tobacco firms in the UK generated profits of £1billion last year, and are responsible for the premature deaths of 80,000 people annually.
The report’s chairman, Peter Kellner, said, “Placing a levy on tobacco companies to fund such work is a win-win – saving both money and lives.”
The British Medical Association, which has previously called for a tobacco-free society by 2035, welcomed the report’s recommendations – and said smoking costs the economy approximately £2.5 billion a year in sick leave and lost productivity.
Prof. Sheila Hollins of BMA said, “As doctors we see first-hand the devastating effects of tobacco addiction, and have a duty to protect our children from an addiction that takes hold of most smokers when they are young.”

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