UK government and plain cigarette packaging

Thursday, 2 May 2013  at 14:37

The Financial Times today reported that the British government is planning to potential abandon plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging for the time being.

The paper noted that this would be a move that will "please the tobacco industry that had challenged the claim it would put young people off smoking."

The piece continued:

Health ministers had been weighing banning brands on packets of cigarettes for more than a year, a policy that would have seen the UK follow in the footsteps of Australia in attempting to deter people from smoking.

Brands on packets are one of the last remaining ways to advertise cigarettes, as many other methods are already restricted in the UK. A ban on tobacco displays in large shops was introduced just last year.
The plans have been dropped in an attempt to focus on more core policies in next week’s Queen’s Speech, when the government has to outline its legislative agenda for the next session of parliament.

Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said the government had “completely lost its way” on public health.

“David Cameron promised to get tough on smoking and alcohol abuse, but instead has caved in to big business and vested interests,” he said. “Standardised cigarette packets are key to deterring our young people from taking up smoking. We call on the government to rethink ditching this policy."

To read the whole story, click here.
* This number reflects the total amount of people who have signed up to support the plain packaging of tobacco products, via the Plain Packs Protect Partnership (logos below), British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK websites.
Supporters Smoke Free South West Ulster Cancer Foundation ash Ash Scotland Ash Wales British Heart Foundation Cancer Research UK Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Cut Films Faculty of Public Health Fresh Smoke Free North East National Heart Forum NCSCT BTS - Stop Smoking Champions The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Royal College of Physicians TCC Tobacco Free Future Trading Standards Partnership South West Smoke Free Lincs - Promoting a tobacco free life