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Press Releases (220)

Fresh has welcomed the effect of tobacco laws which carried widespread public support - but has urged the government to go further in its drive to go 'smoke-free' in England by 2030.



Responding to a government consultation on a review of particular regulations, Fresh has outlined to the Department of Health and Social Care that current laws around tobacco such as smoking in cars carrying children and putting tobacco displays out of sight have helped smoking rates in the North East and youth smoking rates reach an all-time low.


The removal of tobacco displays in shops, prohibiting smoking in cars carrying children and restrictions on the sale of nicotine-inhaling products such as vapourisers to under 18s all work together to help smokers to quit, discourage young people from starting to smoke and protect people from harm.


The laws play a key role in the North East vision of making smoking history, alongside other actions such as quitting campaigns and providing support to smokers who want to quit.


Retailers within County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear have also outlined their support for the laws with over half (55%) supporting the regulations on the removal of tobacco displays and 9 out of 10 supporting laws restricting the sale of nicotine-inhaling products to children.


But Fresh say that more action is needed if the government is to achieve its ambition to go 'smoke-free' in England in 2030 and that nearly half of the North East public think the government could be doing more to limit smoking with only 7 per cent thinking the government has gone too far.


Fresh outlined key measures the government could bring in to accelerate the decline in smoking rates such as introducing a "polluter pays" charge on the tobacco industry to fund measures to encourage smokers to quit and discourage youth uptake, increasing the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21 and introduce retail licensing to support enforcement.


Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "We know from talking to smokers that thanks to the law, the car is now seen by most as the last place they would dream of smoking and there is high awareness that it is illegal.


"Similarly with tobacco displays, shops have adapted and our children no longer see cigarettes and people who have quit no longer face the temptation when they walk into a shop."


She added: "Here in England we have some of the most effective tobacco laws in the world – they are simple to implement, comply with and enforce and most importantly of all, they work.  The fact that smoking rates are continuing to decline is testament to this.  But we can't be complacent.


"To continue making a difference, the government also needs to consider going further and bring in new legislation, including 'making the polluter pay' by placing a charge on the tobacco industry to address the damage that their products inflict on society.  We would also like the age of sale for tobacco to be raised to 21 given how harmful tobacco is, and for a licensing system to be introduced to support enforcement around illicit tobacco.


"There is significant public support for all of these measures and the government needs to be both bold but also reassured that these are the next logical steps to take."


North East retailer John McClurey said: "The introduction of these laws has been generally viewed as a positive step towards the reduction of smoking.  Since the tobacco displays have been covered I have had former smokers commenting to me that it removes a temptation and helps them to stay quit.





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Friday, 23 July 2021
As a social smoker, keen runner Angela Tunstall, 48, from Barnard Castle was worried she would start smoking more after lockdown. When she experienced tightness in her chest while walking and running, her GP put her in touch with her local stop smoking service. With the help of the service,…
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£67m cost to North East in social care from smoking
Wednesday, 14 July 2021
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Dont Wait aims to inspire thousands of smokers this summer
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
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Tuesday, 08 June 2021
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Fresh statement on smokefree pavement cafes
Thursday, 03 June 2021
Four local authorities, including Northumberland county council, Durham, North Tyneside and Newcastle, have introduced smokefree stretches of pavement where bars, restaurants and cafes are licensed to put out tables. Commenting, Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh Balance, said: “Fresh welcomes the leadership that is being shown by local authorities in…
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Friday, 28 May 2021
Fresh has called for bold new measures to protect young people from smoking including increasing age of sale to 21 in time for World No Tobacco Day (May 31). It comes as a major new global study published in The Lancet on Thursday 27th May [1] finds that three quarters…
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Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Use more than one quitting aid, go easy on yourself if you get irritable and never consider yourself a failure. They’re some of the tips to beat smoking for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Fresh has teamed up with quitting expert Prof Robert West who has five top tips…
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Stay quit - don't let socialising get you hooked back on smoking
Thursday, 15 April 2021
Fresh is encouraging ex-smokers who quit during Covid to stay stopped and not let outdoor socialising get them hooked again. It comes as this weekend offers the first opportunity for people to meet friends and visit the pub again outdoors.   Fresh also responded to the publication of research by…
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Dont let Spring 2021 hammer your health
Friday, 09 April 2021
We're all looking forward to the Spring of 2021 – but don't let it hammer your health. That is the message from health campaigners in the North East as pubs reopen outdoors from Monday. Fresh and Balance – the North East's tobacco and alcohol harm prevention programmes – are encouraging…
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New pack warnings underline need to make smoking history
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
GRAPHIC new warnings on tobacco packs rolled out during 2021 could make more smokers and children think twice. But in years anti-smoking efforts could also include warnings on cigarette sticks and pack inserts encouraging people to quit. The suite of hard hitting new warnings from Australia – including lung cancer,…
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