Seventeen children in Northern Ireland become new smokers every day, which is a very alarming trend.
Cancer Focus NI believes that standardised packaging of tobacco products will help protect our future generations from being seduced by the tobacco industry marketing. The move to plainer packs will help safeguard children and young people from the devastating effects of smoking and encourage adult smokers to stop.
The Westminster Government has yet to make a final decision on standardised packaging - but time is running out if new regulations are to be introduced in this parliament's lifetime.
With a general election looming, any new regulations must be put before parliament by mid-January so that a vote can be taken in March. Standardised packaging could and should become a proud legacy of this parliament.
Head of Cancer Prevention,
Cancer Focus NI