Health warnings 'needed for air travel'

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Advertising for air travel should include cigarette-style health warnings, a new report has suggested.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, the warnings would make people "think more about the implications of their travel".

Released ahead of the Easter weekend, the thinktank wants to remind travellers of the damage air travel can do to the environment.

Today's report cites figures showing that the average Briton emits 4,400kg of CO2 every year through daily life, but a return flight from London to Perth, Australia, emits 4,500kg per passenger.

Simon Retallack, head of climate change at the IPPR, said that evidence supporting claims that "aviation damages the atmosphere is just as clear as the evidence that smoking kills".

"We know that smokers notice health warnings on cigarettes, and we have to tackle our addiction to flying in the same way," he elaborated.

"But if we are to change people's behaviour, warnings must be accompanied by offering people alternatives to short-haul flights and by steps to make the cost of flying better reflect its impact on the environment."

IPPR also says that better integration of Europe's "fragmented" rail network could help provide a more suitable alternative to air travel.

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