Through 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind', the charity is aiming to protect the next generation from this deadly addiction and is calling on people across the UK to sign up to a petition to support its aims. Research shows that the younger people start to smoke, the harder they find it to quit and to stay quit for good, a worrying statistic as over 80 per cent of smokers start before the age of 19.
The focus of the new campaign is on protecting children from cigarette advertising that makes smoking look glamorous and attractive. Despite the ban on cigarette advertising and marketing, children continue to be exposed to cigarette advertising on a daily basis because of loopholes in the ban. The charity wants the Government to close the existing loopholes and protect children by preventing tobacco being displayed in shops at the point of sale, prohibiting the sale of cigarettes from vending machines and making plain packaging for tobacco products compulsory.
Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "It's a shocking fact that half of all long-term smokers will die from smoking. What's even more frightening is that the majority of smokers could be putting themselves in this fatal situation at an age when they are easily influenced.
"We have launched this campaign to help protect all children from the dangers of tobacco. We know that many underage smokers buy cigarettes from vending machines. We also know that attractive branding makes cigarettes more appealing to young people and dilutes the impact of health warnings. We want to keep cigarettes out of sight and out of mind to help prevent young people from taking up smoking in the first place."
To support Cancer Research UK's campaign visit the CancerCampaigns website.