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North-east MP supports World Cancer Day campaign

By Kyle Ritchie

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson marked World Cancer Day at a special Cancer Research event at Westminster focussed on improving survival across the UK.

Taking place in February each year, the awareness day is an international initiative which inspires individuals and communities to unite against the disease.

The Gordon MP met with Cancer Research staff, researchers and ambassadors to discuss how to help more people across the UK live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.

MP Richard Thomson with Cancer Research campaign ambassador Marcia Jensen.
MP Richard Thomson with Cancer Research campaign ambassador Marcia Jensen.

The charity says helping to end smoking is critical to avoid thousands of premature deaths each year and has been campaigning in support of a proposed law to raise the age of sale of tobacco.

The legislation is due to go through the Westminster Parliamentary process first, following an extensive consultation that involved 25,000 responses from people in all four UK nations.

If passed, it will raise the legal age of sale of tobacco in England by one year every year, making it an offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.

During the World Cancer Day event, Mr Thomson took the opportunity to commit to supporting the legislation when MPs vote on it in the UK Parliament, so that it can then be introduced in each of the other nations by the devolved governments.

Mr Thomson said: “Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 50 years. Breakthroughs in research mean everyday people are being diagnosed earlier, have access to kinder and more effective treatments, and some cancers are prevented completely.

"This all adds up to more moments with our loved ones for people in Gordon and across the country.

“But there’s still much further to go. Nearly one in two people will get cancer in their lifetime.

"That’s why charities like Cancer Research, which has been at the heart of progress in the fight against the disease, need our continued support.

“Stubbing out smoking would make an enormous difference. I want to see the UK Government’s proposal to create a smokefree generation become a reality in every UK nation.

"Supporting the Westminster legislation is a vital milestone towards making this happen and that’s why I’ve pledged to be a smokefree MP. We must work together to ensure no-one is left behind.”

Cancer Research UK public affairs manager, Ian Caleb, underlined that the support of parliamentarians from across the UK was crucial to help turn the tide on cancer.

He said: “Cancer is the defining health issue of our time, and uniting to beat it has never been more important.

"On World Cancer Day we recognise the power of working together – and it’s by working together, with strong leadership and political will, that we can drastically improve cancer outcomes.

“The upcoming Westminster legislation to raise the age of sale of tobacco products is a crucial step to help tackle the biggest preventable killer in the UK.

"We’re grateful to all MPs supporting the proposed legislation and are committed to working with the governments in all four nations for a smokefree future.”

Visit cruk.org for more information.

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