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Cigarettes packets 'mislead children over smoking risk'

BY Ella Pickover

Cigarettes in brightly coloured packs are considered to be less harmful than others, a poll has suggested – prompting health campaigners to renew calls for plain packaging.

Nine in 10 youngsters see cigarettes in standardised packs as "harmful", according to the small poll conducted on behalf of Cancer Research UK.

But cigarettes from colourful Pall Mall and Mayfair packs are only viewed as potentially unsafe by six in 10 children, the charity said. The UK is likely to introduce plain packaging after a review expected before the end of the month, with Northern Ireland in a position to opt in to new legislation.

Alison Cox, the charity's head of tobacco policy, said: "This survey is a timely reminder of the huge marketing power of packaging on young people.

"Attractive packaging is a key reason that young people are tempted into a lifetime of nicotine addiction.

"By stripping cigarette packs of these attractive designs and bright colours, standardised packaging will give millions of children one less reason to smoke," she said.

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