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BMJ. 1995 Oct 28;311(7013):1152-4.

Counting the costs of children's smoking.

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Department of Addictive Behaviour, St George's Hospital Medical School, London.

Erratum in

  • BMJ 1995 Nov 11;311(7015):1287.


The recent publication of the 1994 OPCS survey of smoking among secondary school children confirmed that the Health of the Nation target for children's smoking (a reduction in regular smoking from 8% in 1988 to less than 6% in 1994) has not been achieved. In 1994, 12% of English schoolchildren aged 11-15 were regular smokers (as were 12% in Scotland, 9% in Wales, and 12.5% in Northern Ireland). In 1994 the government spent around 10 million pounds on initiatives to prevent smoking, but received around 8643 million pounds in tax receipts from tobacco sales, about 108 million pounds of which was tax receipts from the illegal sale of cigarettes to children under 16 years old. The tobacco industry spent an estimated 100 million pounds on promotional activities. Improving current trends in children's smoking by the year 2000 will require decisive action by the government. The government should legislate to ban tobacco advertising and should use the 108 million pounds taken each year in taxes from smoking children to fund smoking cessation and prevention initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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