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Child Smoking Figures Rising

December 5, 2013
Public Health

Nearly 50,000 more children took up smoking in 2010/11 than in the previous year, according to figures released by Cancer Research UK and Imperial College London.

The research, published in the medical journal Thorax, featured data from more than 6,500 children in years 7 to 11 interviewed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Estimates show 463 children every day started smoking in England, 50 in Scotland, 30 in Wales and 19 in Northern Ireland. The figures equate to 20 classrooms full of children starting smoking each day amongst a population of 3.7 million children aged between 11 and 15.

Dr. Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, isn?t surprised by the findings: ?The new data once again emphasises that we can?t be complacent in thinking we have won the battle to protect young people against the dangers of tobacco.?

Researchers were able to break the figures down to give new rates for regions of the UK. The highest was in the capital, with an estimated 67 children taking up smoking in London each day. The authors of the report make a number of recommendations to try to address what they brand as a child protection issue, including targeted anti-smoking media campaigns, banning smoking in cars, and introducing plain packaging.

You can read a copy of the full report at: http://m.thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2013/11/25/thoraxjnl-2013-204379.full?

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