Plain Tobacco Packaging Consultation Announced By Andrew Lansley
A UK-wide consultation on whether tobacco should be sold in standardised, or plain packaging, has been launched today by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
The consultation will be open for responses from 16 April to 10 July with any person, business or organisation with an interest being encouraged to respond.
“Smoking remains one of the most significant challenges to public health. Each year it accounts for over 100,000 deaths in the UK and one in two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking disease.
“That is why the health ministers across the UK have a responsibility to look closely at initiatives that might encourage smokers to quit and stop young people taking up smoking in the first place.
“Through this consultation we want to hear as many views as possible about whether tobacco packing should remain unchanged, plain packaging should be adopted or a different option should be considered.”
Meanwhile, Smokefree South West has launched the “Plain Packs Protect” campaign, which has so far attracted over 32,000 supporters with people signing up at www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk.
The campaign is designed to protect children from the dangers of smoking and reduce the number of children smoke by:
• Making tobacco packaging look less attractive
• Increasing the effectiveness of health warnings
• Preventing the use of misleading and deceptive colours to create false beliefs of different strength and quality
• Removing the positive association with cigarette brands and image
Any decisions to take further policy action on tobacco packaging will be taken only after full consideration is given to consultation responses, evidence and other relevant information.