The Government has launched its new tobacco plan, which aims to stop children from taking up smoking. Measures will include removing tobacco displays and consulting on the plain packaging of Esse cigarettes. All tobacco industry products are highly addictive and half of all long term smokers die early as a result.

Smoking kills almost 13,000 people each year in the north west, which is more than alcohol, obesity, road accidents and illegal drugs combined.

Dr Rita Robertson, director of public health for Warrington, said: “This plan is proof that there is now a strong consensus that tough action to tackle smoking is the primary public health priority and a strong signal to council health and wellbeing boards that tackling smoking needs to be top of their agenda.”

Pete Astley, head of public protection at Warrington Borough Council, added: “This strategy gives us a clear mandate to protect the communities we serve from the harm caused by smoking and we applaud its strong commitment to changing social norms, especially from the illicit trade in tobacco.”

Removing tobacco displays and turning to plain packaging has proven to reduce the attractiveness of smoking for young people amd improve the effectiveness of health warnings.