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Cigarettes R.I.P.

This blog is mostly about smoking and is written by a therapist who uses hypnosis to help smokers quit. It focuses on the media’s treatment of the issue. Take, for example, reports on the latest official tobacco control plan…

The headline-grabbing “key actions” of the government’s latest tobacco control plan for England are the ban on shop displays of tobacco, which will be total by April 2015, and the proposal that tobacco products should be supplied in plain packaging.

The government has declared that the plan (full details of which can be found on the Department of Health web site) has three major objectives: to cut adult English smoking rates from 21.2 per cent to 18.5 per cent or less; to reduce smoking among 15-year-olds from 15 per cent to 12 per cent or less; and among pregnant women from 14 per cent to 11 per cent or less. All of this is to be achieved by 2016.

It could also have directly declared its intention to curb deaths caused by smoking in bed, which would have flagged up a good “human interest” news story…

Government action will “include a new EU standard for reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes in the British National Standards collection”.

The plan identifies smoking materials as a significant cause of house fires:

“In 2007, there were 2,354 smoking-related fires in England, resulting in 73 deaths and 789 injuries. The EU published a safety standard and test method for reduced ignition propensity cigarettes in November 2010, with referencing…planned for 12 months later. This period will enable cigarette manufacturers to make necessary changes in their manufacturing processes to meet the new standard.

“The standard for reduced ignition propensity cigarettes was developed to find a technical solution to prevent cigarettes from burning through their whole length when not being actively smoked, because of the fire hazard this represents… The introduction of RIP cigarettes could save between 800 and 900 lives per year in European countries.”

Hypnotherapist bloggers look forward to continuing to play their part in writing smoking’s epitaph: Cigarettes R.I.P.!