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Lung cancer rise in women, cervical cancer petition and the Hoops campaign

A round up of the health news headlines on Friday 13 April

The Daily Mail reports that a 22 year old student nurse is campaigning to lower the age for cervical cancer screening.

Hannah Booth was diagnosed with the disease at 20 and has started a petition to lower the age of screening from 25 back to 20, as in Scotland. She has so far collected 7,000 signatures and plans to take it to 10 Downing Street once she hits 10,000.

The Guardian reports of a controversial move by health secretary Andrew Lansley to strip cigarette packets of all branding, following a consultation beginning on Monday.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the campaigning charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: ‘Cigarettes are not like sweets or toys and should not be sold in fancy, colourful packaging which makes them appealing to children. Cigarettes are full of toxins and cause fatal diseases: plain, standardised packaging makes this explicit.'

But pro-smoking group Forest, the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, has launched a Hands Off Our Packs (Hoops) campaign.

The move comes a week after the law requiring all large shops and supermarkets to cover up cigarettes and hide tobacco products from public view came into force in England.

Continuing with the smoking theme, and BBC online reports that the number of lung cancer incidents in women is continuing to rise.

Current figures show that 39 out of 100,000 women had lung cancer in 2009, compared with 2 in 1975.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's information director, told the news site: ‘Lung cancer continues to claim far too many lives. More than four in five cases of the disease are caused directly by smoking. But this means nearly one in five cases is not.'

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