By Carl Jackson 18/05 Updated: 18/05 16:39
A BROMSGROVE woman is backing a campaign for all cigarette packages to be stripped of enticing branding after she tragically lost her father to lung cancer.
Jo Spalding, 28, from Aston Fields quit smoking four years ago when her father Alan, lost his battle to lymphoma, at the age of 55.
Alan had been ill for a couple of months and was diagnosed after a large lump appeared in is neck. This was actually a secondary cancer with the primary cancer in his lungs.
He rapidly deteriorated, becoming dependent on his wife Chris, and died within four weeks of his diagnosis in hospital.
Jo, who is a parent herself to her one-year-old daughter Imogen, said: “To be given a terminal cancer diagnosis at 55 years old was a huge blow.
“I would never want anybody to have to go through what my dad went through.
“I hope my daughter will never take up this terrible addiction.”
Cancer Research UK’s petition ‘The Answer is Plain’ aims to put all tobacco in packs with the same size, shape and design with large warnings on the front and back.
Jo added: “I’ve seen how driven by branding all children are in the clothes and shoes they want to wear.
“And I’ve experienced it first-hand with cigarettes.
“The array of different packaging young people are confronted with today is frightening, from limited editions, to patterned cigarettes to packs shaped like perfume bottles.”
Figures from a YouGov poll taken in April show that 83 per cent of the 333 people asked in West Midlands believed children should not be exposed to tobacco marketing.
And around 130 of those people said their children or grandchildren asked for specific branded goods before the age of 15.
Statistics show that in 2010, 157,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15 started to smoke.
For more, visit www.cancerresearchuk.org.
The charity’s petition is available at www.theanswerisplain.org
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