HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 c148W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the likely reduction in smoking resulting from a total ban on(a) tobacco advertising and (b) tobacco sponsorship; what research his Department has evaluated on this matter; and if he will place this research in the Library. [6304]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the relative efficiency of (a) banning tobacco (i) advertising and (ii)sponsorship and (b) other methods in reducing levels of smoking. [6303]

Ms Jowell

There is a significant body of research connecting tobacco advertising with children's smoking, both in predisposing children to start smoking and reinforcing the habit in those who have already started. Research, most recently that commissioned by the Health Education Authority to be published this week, indicates that the percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds who report having seen adverts for cigarettes in the last six months is as high as 96 per cent. Studies have also repeatedly shown that children who smoke choose brands which are most heavily advertised, and there is also evidence that adult consumption is affected by advertising. The 1992 Smee report on the effect of tobacco advertising on consumption found that in individual countries the balance of evidence shows that advertising does have a positive effect on consumption, copies of this report are available in the Library.

Controlling tobacco consumption requires a much wider range of measures if we are to have a real impact and see a significant and lasting reduction. The Government summit on smoking on 14 July will inform the development of a range of policy measures to tackle smoking; the resulting policies will be set out in a White Paper to be published later in the year. An advertising ban is a necessary part of that package of complementary measures.

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