When I was sixteen, I smoked my first cigarette. It was one of the most stupid decisions I have ever made (and believe me, there have been plenty), and I went on to smoke off and on for the following ten years. I tried quitting heaps of times, but somehow it always seemed easier to just give in – it wasn’t until we were trying to have Benjamin that I actually managed it. There was suddenly something that was much more appealing to me than spending ridiculous amounts of money to stick dried up leaves in my mouth and set fire to them.
I wish I’d never started. Thinking about the amount of money I wasted, the impact I would have had on the environment and the detrimental effect to my own health (even if you quit, you’re still at an increased risk of cancer and other smoking related diseases) does my absolute box in, and I just pray that neither of my two ever decide to ‘dabble’ like I did. Children and young adults are, let’s face it, easily influenced, which is why I’m forcefully backing the Plain Packaging campaign, which aims to make cigarette and tobacco packets far less attractive to young people. If locked in place, regulations would mean that all brands are forced to use the same typeface, in the same colour and size – not only would the whole thing be far less eyecatching, but the health warnings could take up a whopping 75% of the pack front. It’s hard to ignore the facts when they’re staring you straight in the face….
Protect our children. Visit the Plain Packaging Campaign for more information and to pledge your support.