It should probably be pointed out how this story is from the UK, in which smear tests are not granted until you are 25 (unless you are scottish). This has been a subject of controversy for a few years now, especially with the rising awareness of HPV. However, after Jade Goody’s death from cervical cancer (a very highly publicised struggle) the UK had started giving young girls the HPV vaccination (an injection you get in three stages as I seem to remember) in schools for free. Perhaps this is the reason the testing age has not been lowered - maybe it was found that the vaccinations end up being a lower cost than more smear tests on the NHS. I commented on this article a week ago stating how I am 23 and have never had a test, although I did receive the HPV vaccine when I was 16/17 whilst it was first being tested and rolled out. However, I seem to remember at the time of the vaccine being tested in the UK, that previous results were from usage in the US, so this would contradict my theory.