MPs To Vote On Cigarette Packaging

11 March 2015, 10:02 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

MPs are to hold a crunch vote today on controversial plans to introduce plain cigarette packets.

The regulations were discussed and agreed by a committee earlier this week and will now be subject to a free vote on the floor of the House.

The Scottish Government has agreed to consider following any moves made by Westminster.

There have been suggestions that more than 80 Tories could be among those opposing the plans - which critics argue will not prevent people smoking, are being introduced too hastily, and could confuse consumers.

This as reasearch shows more than a third of smokers are putting their loved ones' health at risk by lighting up at home, a study has found.

The findings showed that despite the dangers of passive smoking, the majority of people are more worried about the health of the smoker.

This concern has led to more half of those questioned pleading with the smoker in their lives to quit.

The statistics have been released by the British Heart Foundation, which is urging people to give up the habit and put their families first today, No Smoking Day.

Some 18% of the 2,000 people surveyed wrongly believe that opening windows offers them protection from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, the research found.

The majority of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are invisible and opening a window does little to prevent the harm of passive smoking reaching other people.

Passive smoke leads to an increased risk of coronary heart disease and other health problems such as asthma. Children are particularly at risk and passive smoking appears to more than double the risk of developing bacterial meningitis.

Youngsters who are exposed to smoking in their homes are more than three times more likely to smoke than those who are brought up in smoke-free environments.

Kicking the habit is the single best thing a smoker can do for their health and the health of those around them, said the BHF.

The charity's associate medical director, Dr Mike Knapton, said: "Every week, thousands of children are exposed to passive smoke in enclosed spaces, putting them at greater risk of respiratory infections, asthma, and sudden infant death. Simply opening a window does not protect your children from breathing in harmful chemicals.

"Smoking is not healthy for smokers or for the people around them. If you're a smoker and looking to quit, reach out to your pharmacist or local stop smoking team on No Smoking Day for information and advice. Join the nearly one million smokers in the UK who are expected to quit this No Smoking Day.''