MEP Linda in line for health award

Linda McAvan, local Member of European Parliament and the leading MEP on Europe's new draft tobacco laws, is calling on the government to reconsider its plain packaging u-turn.
Linda McAvan, local Member of European Parliament and the leading MEP on Europe's new draft tobacco laws, is calling on the government to reconsider its plain packaging u-turn.
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A Yorkshire MEP is in line for a prestigious award for her work on the European Union’s new tobacco legislation.

Linda McAvan has been nominated for MEP of the year in the health category for leading on the introduction of laws designed to make smoking as unattractive as possible to young smokers.

The Labour member helped secure measures such as larger graphic warnings covering two-thirds of each cigarette pack.

The Tobacco Products Directive also banned an array of gimmicky products that tobacco companies use to target young people, such as flavoured cigarettes and lipstick and perfume style packaging.

Linda said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for this award.

“Here in Yorkshire, there are 921,919 smokers and 
70 per cent of those started smoking before the age of 18.

“It is estimated two children in Yorkshire start smoking every hour. Nearly 14,000 children between 11 and 15 in the region are regular smokers.

“The EU member countries have a responsibility to address this public health disaster as that is what the new laws will do.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels on Tuesday.