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Scotland to go ahead with plain packaging

Plain packaging for cigarettes will be introduced in 2014/15, the Scottish government has confirmed. 

Although the government has been challenged by the tobacco industry, Scottish Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said he is “determined” to make the changes. 

Scotland would be the second country in the world to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, after Australia. 

A study released earlier this year showed that plain packaging encourages smokers to quit. 

Matheson said: “I am determined to see Scotland remain at the forefront of those countries committed to bold action to reduce the harm to our health caused by tobacco. 

“We will not be deterred by the tobacco industry. To build a generation free from tobacco it is necessary to restrict the imagery and design that tobacco companies use to pull in another generation to use these addictive and lethal products.

“I am very encouraged by the early findings coming out of Australia following implementation of plain packaging there. These add to, and support, the wealth of existing evidence which consistently shows that plain packaging would reduce the appeal of tobacco products to consumers.

“We will, of course, continue to take account of any new evidence emerging from Australia as we move toward a consultation on the next steps in Scotland in the New Year.”