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Issue:- 27 June 2013

UKIP slammed by Labour Euro MP on 'irresponsible' tobacco claims

LINDA McAvan, Euro MP for Yorkshire and the Humber has hit back at UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall for his suggestion that EU regulation of Tobacco is like regulating what time we go to bed.  Nuttall, the outspoken UKIP MEP for the North West made a number of claims in relation to the EU's new draft tobacco laws which have been developed in the hope of making smoking less attractive to young people.  He told the press that attempts to make packaging less attractive would actually increase consumption and of plans to ban menthol cigarettes, Nuttall said:- "If people want to smoke menthol cigarettes, let them. What will the EU do next? Regulate what time we go to bed?"

Linda McAvan is leading on tobacco regulation for MEPs across Europe and has called Nuttall's comments incredibly short-sighted and irresponsible.  Linda said;- "In my constituency alone, 13,710 children aged between 11-15 are regular smokers and the devastating reality is that around half of regular smokers will die from a smoking related disease. There are 1.2 million smokers in the North West. If UKIP want to use every opportunity to make outlandish claims about the EU then that's their prerogative, but myself and colleagues in Europe are not prepared to let this number of young and preventable deaths go unchallenged.  Tobacco should look like tobacco and taste like tobacco, not like sweets. If the taste isn't pleasant to young smokers then we would hope to see less and less young people regularly smoking."

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said:- "We wholeheartedly back the move to remove flavouring from cigarettes. Making them taste like mint, chocolate, vanilla and cherry is designed to improve the taste of smoking and make it easier to inhale the toxic and carcinogenic tobacco fumes, particularly for young people just starting to smoke. Reducing the appeal of tobacco will help to reduce the number of young people who are drawn into this lethal addiction."

Menthol cigarettes, which have already been banned in Brazil, were identified as a risk when scientists discovered that menthol acted as a local anaesthetic, which reduced coughing due to inhalation of irritating smoke, and allowed smokers to inhale more deeply (and more frequently) increasing the risks associated with smoking.  "Given the evidence, menthol in cigarettes is not as trivial as Mr. Nuttall is trying to suggest with his flippant comments." Linda added.

The Tobacco Products Directive will be voted on by MEPs in September, before being approved by governments later in the year.

Parking and 20mph a hot topic this summer!

WELL the weather might not have been fantastically hot, but the few days of good sun have caused quite a heated debate lately in the Sefton area. Over the last few weeks we have been running a few reports about poor parking of visitors attending the seaside and we would love to hear from you, our readers about this issue, whether you are one of the motorists visiting or a local resident. We have this week confirmed that at this point, that some of those mandatory restrictions have been ruled out at this stage. To see our full interview with Formby's Labour Councillor Nina Killen about this seasonal issue, do not forget to log on next week! If you have read anything related affecting you on Merseyside, please do email us with your views and ideas to:- Remember that the local media is your voice, so please feel free to use us to get your voice heard!  To see our coverage about this issue, that we have run over the last few weeks, please visit these 3 links:- 1; 2; 3.

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