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Will plain cigarette packaging make smoking less attractive?

08:21 UK time, Sunday, 21 November 2010

Cigarette packets should have plain packaging to make smoking less attractive, ministers have suggested. Would this be a deterrent?

The government plans to ask retailers to cover up displays of cigarettes so that children are not attracted by the packaging.

The Department of Health is considering the idea of asking tobacco companies to show only basic information and health or picture warnings on their packets.

Would this deter children from starting smoking? Are you a smoker? Are you trying to stop smoking? Would these measures help you? Does packaging help recruit smokers?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Hmmm, so presumably the governemnt will then cover up adverts for junk food so the little dears won't to continue to balloon to ridiculous sizes and then perhaps cover up adverts for video games to try and encourage the little barrels outside and get off their backsides? Smoking probably becomes more attractive when your the size of a small house and the only thing you can move is hand to mouth, once for food once for a drag on the ciggy.

    Perhaps the government ought to cover up all distasteful pastimes, like buying Audis or walking with that silly limp......

  • Comment number 2.

    Well, I suppose it would. There is, after all, a multi-billion pound packaging industry founded on the fact that attractive packaging increases consumption.

  • Comment number 3.

    I take the smoking room at commons still exists. For the record, like them, I am a smoker with no intention of stopping - my choice.

  • Comment number 4.

    A packet of fags is a packet of fags, whatever colour or design it may be.
    Another half-baked idea from the Ministry of Half-Baked Ideas.

  • Comment number 5.

    Where is the glitzy packaging? As a nonsmoker I am all too familiar with the cigarette displays behind counters when paying for goods. Not once have I ever noticed a glitzy package no matter how long or tedious the queuing.

    Perhaps it is that we are all born with a magpie instinct that we grow out of and never even realise we had. Maybe smokers still have this instinct, how else would plain packaging help them give up their addiction? What of the health warnings and gruesome pictures, were these ineffective or just not plain enough?

    It seems that campaigners are just growing ever more desperate. It is also interesting as to what will replace these displays. Glitzy packaged sparkling bottles of shiny colourful alcohol. So clearly it is better to have drunks for children than smokers.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'd like to see cigarette packages have graphic photos of all the health issues and illnesses associated with smoking. I've been a smoker for 40+ years and every day I wish I had never started. It's the hardest thing to give up once you're addicted, but the health warnings are not enough. Pictures would show the smoker/potential smoker, exactly what their risks are. If pictures on the packaging won't work, then try going back to the cigarette cards, but this time with coloured pictures of all nasty diseases cigarettes can cause. Thanks

  • Comment number 7.

    I am a smoker and I appreciate that it is not good for your health - but then neither are the hours we work, the vast majority of food for sale - the cars we drive poison us - and the most freely available drug alcohol causes fear pain and destruction on our streets every single day.

    Like many smokers - I have cut down the amount I smoke - I am looking to quit over the next few years (!) just as I make sure that I get some exercise most days and I plan to do more in the future - but you cannot make me. While the government is prepared to only tackle what it sees as easy options we won't get any where. Back off big brother.

  • Comment number 8.

    Children start smoking because their parents are already smokers and smoking in the home or the kids are trying to fit in with friends social habits. It doesnt matter how you restrict cigarettes indeed if you make cigarettes more secretive or plain in design they become a more exclusive product and the must have item.It can be argued that if parents didnt smoke many children wouldnt even start or if the price was so great that to actually buy cigarettes would cost a small fortune.Government isnt honest in its summary of how to deal with smokers or the cigarettes they still buy in huge quantities,they want the income it generates in cash but not the health bills it creates over the years,as they say "you cant have it both ways".The answer,tax it out of existance.eg;a packet of cigarettes to cost £20 or more to choke off the habit and a higher rate of VAT applied collectable on arrival to stop trips to France where individuals bring in huge amounts of tabacco.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why just cigarettes? Alcohol seems to cause more problems. Ask the police how much trouble is caused by smokers compared with drinkers. Nobody seems to suggest covering up displays of booze and putting it in plain bottles.

  • Comment number 10.

    I can envisage seeing a whole new class of spiv standing on street corners selling black-market goods. Oh happy days of times gone by. LMAO

  • Comment number 11.

    For heavens sakes Cigarettes are LEGAL. I am getting sick and tired of people having a go at smokers...BACK OFF. More people are affected by Industrial Diseases or Alcohol or Obesity. Next the people who object to smoking/smokers will be saying that the worlds problems are the result of smoking. What people do is their OWN business, stop poking your noses into everyones life..get on with yours and keep OUT of mine.

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh dear! Yet another lame idea. Do they really think that young people are attracted to smoking because of brightly coloured packaging and advertising?

    I gave up cigarettes over ten years ago but I started smoking on a regular basis at the end of the '50s. It had nothing to do with packaging, or the fact that my father smoked, it was because it was seen as 'cool'.

    Education is the only way to deal with this. Short of a ban, which will only open up a 'black market', nothing else is going to work.

  • Comment number 13.

    Adding mystery by hiding the cigarettes from display will create interest. Open displays with dull packets should be alongside giant images of someone
    1. smoking,
    2. coughing,
    3. in a doctors crying,
    4. in an xray showing cancer,
    5. in hospital in a breathing mask looking very ill,
    6. a funeral
    I know that cancer can be cured but discouragement is a better plan. I want children to see where people can end up through smoking, for it taught from that perspective in schools. There are lots of lung cancer sufferers that I am sure would want to contribute to the education of children.
    If I was a pupil who met a lung cancer sufferer, terminally ill, and heard what he had to say, later had updates about his failing health and some time later, was invited to his funeral - I would learn. I would not forget that man and how he made me feel.
    Don't hide cigarettes behind a screen - let children see the whole truth.

  • Comment number 14.

    Pathetic. People will still buy cigarettes no matter how they are packaged. Far too much attention is being directed by governments towards the smoking habit. The real killer now is alcohol which kills drinkers and is a major contributor to violence and crime. Statistically alcohol and its damage to health is far more costly to the NHS and to the community.

    I am far more concerned about being attacked by violent drunks than having smoke blown in my face by inconsiderate smokers.

  • Comment number 15.

    Cigarettes and alcohol should be added to the dangerous drugs register somewhere around a class A after all between them they kill more people per week than all illegal drugs in a year.

  • Comment number 16.

    Look why do these governments think that changing the look of the packets will make any difference at all to the demand for cigarettes?

    Stupid stupid people - but I guess we all know that already.

  • Comment number 17.

    You know,someone probabley got a lot of money to come up with that genius idea.

  • Comment number 18.

    No, it won't help.

    That's because, broadly speaking, people don't start smoking because of the attractive packaging or mystique of the fluorescent shelves behind the cashier - they start smoking because of curiosity and possibly peer pressure. This means you are in a chicken and egg situation if you are a Big Government: If you want to stop everyone smoking, the way you have to do that is to stop everyone from smoking.

    Or you could just leave the individual to it, provide them with the requisite information and encourage them to give up. You know, treat people like adults instead of chumps who buy things based on what colour they are.

    Oh. Right. That's sort of what we have now.

    Or maybe it is to do with bright colours. I smoke roll-ups because my favourite colours are green and yellow, I suppose (other brands are available ;)).

  • Comment number 19.

    Cigarettes are legal in this country aren’t they? Why is so much time and legislation given over to the control of a legal substance? They are taxed. Import is controlled. Usage is controlled. Place of usage is controlled. Age of user is controlled. Advertising is controlled. Size, position and colour of health warning are controlled. I could go on.

    Yet, when something illegal is considered – like driving offences – the powers that be go into a huddle for 15 seconds and suggest raising revenue. A whole 10 seconds must have been given to the idea of raising alcohol prices to reduce binge drinking. Did any thought go into the idea of raising fuel duty to curb road congestion?

    If you want to control cigarette use (and advertising) (and colour of packets) (and …), simple. Make cigarettes illegal. Or would that hurt your revenue and taxes too much?

  • Comment number 20.

    To those who think smoking is your own business, think again. I'm fed up of having smoke blown in my face on the streets, seeing dog-ends thrown on the ground as almost 'acceptable litter' and the extra time away from work for cigarette breaks.

    Smoking is not only extremely damaging to health it is highly anti-social (yes, even in groups chatting and puffing).

    Unfortunately too many people in this country are like magpies to shiny objects. Reducing them to plain packaging will have a big effect - out of sight displays/storage will also help. 'Brand A, B or C' will also remove some of the appeal.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hilarious... mmmmm, £10 billion last year according to figures from HMRC, thats how much money from excise and tax went to the Government... shiny packets, glamourous logos... don't make me laugh, they make stupid gestures that appease the small lobby groups but believe me they don't want everyone to quit, they'd have to tax something else!

  • Comment number 22.

    If the Government REALLY cares about stopping people smoking, why don't they just ban all tobacco products? Simple, efficient - solves the whole problem at a single stroke.

    Oh wait.... hang on.... the Government makes far too much money from it to do that!

    Let's get real here - it wasn't the packets that prompted me to start smoking, and plain packets are not going to help me stop. Nor is making the whole thing smack of seediness by placing them "under the counter".

    At the end of the day, smoking is a legal activity, and these kind of "half way house" measures don't help anyone. Either put your money where your mouth is and ban it altogether, or leave us smokers alone.

  • Comment number 23.

    This Government always complained about the last Government of being a nanny state!
    No, print what is inside a packet of cigarettes and taking out the addictive ingredients would be more helpful.
    By hiding something makes it more attractive.

  • Comment number 24.

    Those damn communists - leave me alone to enjoy my private life in consumption of those things I enjoy!

  • Comment number 25.

    by making something illegal doesn't stop people however, by Goverment control, and helpful organisations like AA, CA, or any other will help people to either cut down or stop.
    Illegal sunstances causes more problems ie crime etc.
    WHO says that tobacco kills more people than Aids, legal drugs, illegal drugs, road accidents, murder and suicide combined.

  • Comment number 26.

    The last time I saw a kid 'start' smoking they were handed a fag that looked like it had seen better days. It certainly wasn't in a packet.

    I honestly wonder at the mentality of our rulers and their advisers, their complete lack of knowledge about working class life, or how most kids grow up.

    It doesn't matter how you market it you bunch of idiots - it is what is inside the pack that people (of all ages) want. But hey there is another perspective here - illegal cigarette selling or worse - mixed up amongst the plain cardboard boxes..... brilliant idea.

  • Comment number 27.

    21. At 09:34am on 21 Nov 2010, Grubastuba wrote:
    22. At 09:35am on 21 Nov 2010, Groovehoob wrote:

    What the Government makes in taxes losses out on health issues.

  • Comment number 28.

    The greater the dissuasion against smoking of cigarettes the better. Interesting is the defensiveness I read in the many comments from smokers as if the new measure is an attack on them where as it is an attack on cigarettes. More effective measures to marginalise cigarettes should be encouraged but there is always the cigarette business lobby very strong and sophisticated to do battle with. Smokers are victims and they do not understand they are the victims of the cigarette business.

  • Comment number 29.

    Can anyone tell me how is it that all products must have their ingredients published but cigarettes don't?

  • Comment number 30.

    I thought we'd seen the last of this nonsense when Brown went, but no, the idiots still want to interfere in, and micro manage peoples lives and encourage officially sanctioned bullying. Cameron, your are no better than Brown or Blair.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    If the governments of the UK had not been receiving so much revenue from tobacco, it would have been banned long ago.
    It clearly causes far more harm to health than say cannabis but we do not see this on the shelves of our shops because the government doesn't tax it.
    Tobacco is a drug and those who can afford to buy it will continue to do so in whatever it is packed. We should give the tobacco companies 25 years to cease production and thereafter make the manufacture and processing of tobacco illegal and ban all imports from other countries.

  • Comment number 33.

    30. At 09:50am on 21 Nov 2010, Richard wrote:
    I thought we'd seen the last of this nonsense when Brown went, but no, the idiots still want to interfere in, and micro manage peoples lives and encourage officially sanctioned bullying. Cameron, your are no better than Brown or Blair.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Who says that there was a difference!!! lol.
    You forgot to mention Clegg the man who said that he wants to change politics!!!!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Why not insist that all cigarettes, regardless of manufacturer, be marketed under the single brand-name of GRIM REAPER, in a crematorium ash-grey packet and a black silhouette logo of the Reaper, scythe dripping red.
    At a stroke, this would put an end to competitive advertising and aggressive marketing, whilst obviating the need for ineffective health warnings on the packaging.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am 57 years old, have smoked since my early teens and so far it has not caused me any harm! I am also a recovering alcoholic and alcohol nearly killed me, leaving me on a life support system for nearly three months!
    I've been sober for many years now and am not overweight. Alcohol and overeating kill more people every year than smoking but I don't go around with placards telling people they should stop eating or drinking! Why oh why, must the smoker become the most detested individual alive and have their basic freedoms removed? Geoff Brown, 'The Local Bore, You Can't Ignore!' Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • Comment number 36.

    More complete rubbish from our government. This is just another smokescreen while they increase taxes elsewhere.

  • Comment number 37.

    Of course the style of packaging won't affect young people smoking. They don't smoke the packaging (unless it's used to make the cardboard tube in certain illicit smokes).

    If anything it will amplify the "forbidden fruit" effect - make it more underground. Look at other drugs - they aren't even legal and their use has proliferated without people even knwing exactly what they're actually using most times. And they don't come in attractive packaging.

    What these health people need to sort out is why so many young people take to drugs including alcohol and tobacco. Solve that one and they'll have solved much of the problem.

    I'd welcome the health supremos doing something to make alcohol less attractive to buy; hopefully that would restore our town's weekend nights to a civilised normality.
    As other posters have said there are many things bad for young people's health sold openly and legally - and often with packaging designed to attract them. When are we going to cover them up?

    In other words, another misguided waste of effort from the gov's Department of Health at tax-payers' expense. If they REALLY want to ban tobacco, then ban tobacco. They won't, of course, as they take a huge tax take from people's legal addictions..... If they did, then we'd all have a rise of about 3p in the £ on our income tax.

  • Comment number 38.

    Spot on Solomondogs. Besides lets make the counterfeiters job easier by putting cigs in plain packets!!

  • Comment number 39.

    The most potent advertising for smoking is the existing band of smokers themselves. They will often appear to be rebellious and "cool" so this appeals to the young would-be smokers and they are then easily hooked into the habit. It is only when the smoker eventually realises that he/she is hooked that they then want to kick the habit or are resigned to their unhealthy lifestyle.
    So changing the packaging will not make the slightest difference and cheaper packaging/less advertising will make the tobacco companies even richer - there you have it.

  • Comment number 40.

    After reading this I have double checked the list of QANGO's to see if the Ministry of Silly Walks is still going strong. Thankfully it is along with the Mistry of Stupid Ideas, Daft Money Wasting Comittee and the All Party Morons Talking Shop.

    I gave up smoking earlier in the year and the sanctimonious non-smokers, once again out in force, must realise the tax-burden they would face if everyone stopped. The government makes around £7bn revenue from smoking (After spending around £1.5bn treating smoking related illnesses) which is why it remains a legal, almost definitely Class A drug.

    I was getting a bit worried that MP's might have enough time to actually do something worthwhile and am now reassured.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    28. At 09:45am on 21 Nov 2010, Paul wrote:
    More effective measures to marginalise cigarettes should be encouraged but there is always the cigarette business lobby very strong and sophisticated to do battle with. Smokers are victims and they do not understand they are the victims of the cigarette business.


    The government doesn't need a cigarette lobby... it knows the amount of tax it can take from those addicted to something. Tobacco duty and VAT yields enough to pay for the NHS and more.

    Smokers more than adequately pay for extra care they might need; and don't forget that on average their life expectancy is lower than non-smokers, also reducing the overall demand on State pension payouts.

  • Comment number 43.

    21. At 09:34am on 21 Nov 2010, Grubastuba wrote:

    Hilarious... mmmmm, £10 billion last year according to figures from HMRC, thats how much money from excise and tax went to the Government... shiny packets, glamourous logos... don't make me laugh, they make stupid gestures that appease the small lobby groups but believe me they don't want everyone to quit, they'd have to tax something else!


    Nearly everything else is already taxed.

  • Comment number 44.

    20. At 09:34am on 21 Nov 2010, EnigmaticSC wrote:
    To those who think smoking is your own business, think again. I'm fed up of having smoke blown in my face on the streets, seeing dog-ends thrown on the ground as almost 'acceptable litter' and the extra time away from work for cigarette breaks.

    In a free country, what you are fed up of doesn't pave the way to banning it. I'm fed up of thoughtless political opinions, but I don't try to ban them. You have a tongue in your head, don't you? So ask the smokers not to smoke in your face.

    A non-smoker.

  • Comment number 45.

    35. At 10:06am on 21 Nov 2010, legendarylocalbore wrote
    ............Alcohol and overeating kill more people every year than smoking.........
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    WHO says that tobacco kills more people than Aids, legal drugs, illegal drugs, road accidents, murder and suicide combined.

    I am happy for you that you have at least stopped one addictive substance.

  • Comment number 46.

    Not allowing adults to smoke in confined areas where there are also children is commonsense. However, to try and enforce a ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers will be almost impossible no matter how desirable. Unless the children concerned actually complain to the enforcers there will be very little chance of catching the culprits. There is still a large number of people who use mobile phones whilst driving - enough for the practice to continue without much concern for getting caught.

  • Comment number 47.

    I work in the tobacco industry and rely on it to support my family. When will the anti smoking brigade stop and think what the cost of the display ban, the ban on smoking in pubs (40+ per week have closed in the last year) and the ban on advertising will be? Complete disregard for freedom to do what you want with your own life. Most of the cost of a packet of cigarettes goes to the government in the form of taxes. Assuming that this will dry up due to the punitive bans imposed, where will this money come from? You guessed it, higher rates of VAT and income tax. Be careful what you wish for ASH!!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    43. At 10:19am on 21 Nov 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Nearly everything else is already taxed.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Not nearly, everything!

  • Comment number 49.

    Hey, this must be an HYS record.We have reached 40 comments and no-one has
    mentioned immigrants or welfare scroungers.

  • Comment number 50.

    Make absolutely no difference to the smokers in our midst who will continue to inflict upon themselves. and everybody else for that matter, their disgusting and fatal addiction.

  • Comment number 51.

    35. At 10:06am on 21 Nov 2010, legendarylocalbore wrote:

    I am 57 years old, have smoked since my early teens and so far it has not caused me any harm! I am also a recovering alcoholic and alcohol nearly killed me, leaving me on a life support system for nearly three months!
    I've been sober for many years now and am not overweight. Alcohol and overeating kill more people every year than smoking but I don't go around with placards telling people they should stop eating or drinking! Why oh why, must the smoker become the most detested individual alive and have their basic freedoms removed? Geoff Brown, 'The Local Bore, You Can't Ignore!' Newcastle upon Tyne.


    Don't be silly, alcohol and overeating do not kill more people every year than smoking.

  • Comment number 52.

    49. At 10:28am on 21 Nov 2010, novalidopinion wrote:
    record broken by you!

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    "At 09:35am on 21 Nov 2010, Groovehoob wrote:

    Unfortunately too many people in this country are like magpies to shiny objects. Reducing them to plain packaging will have a big effect - out of sight displays/storage will also help. 'Brand A, B or C' will also remove some of the appeal."

    So you want to punish and penalise people that you personally disapprove of. You should not confuse such moralising with effectiveness.

    Do other addictive substances come in glitzy packaging? Under the counter illicit goods are going to be less appealing/interesting how? In what way will it combat illegally smuggled goods complete with their glitzy packaging. Which ironically are available under the counter at some stores.

    It seems some people have become so rabid with populist nonsense that all common sense and reason is lost.

  • Comment number 55.

    From what I recall, the packaging was irrelevant. It was buying something so I could do something which seemed to be more "grown up".

  • Comment number 56.

    "Excuse me mister, can you buy me 20 cigarettes in the glitzy packet", is not something I've been asked outside my local shop. So I doubt this would work.
    Call me cynical, but the Government report "suggests" that packaging influences children, yet ASH seems to be using this suggestion as hard evidence... Go figure.

  • Comment number 57.

    #31 Jack_Willis

    Name one person who has died of passive smoking. You cannot. And the WHO says the passive smoking risk is smaller than the chances of you frying your kids brains with your mobile phone. So please keep your propaganda to yourself. Smokers kill themselves, period.

    But here is another factor. Professor Nutt now says alcohol is a much more odious and dangerous drug. Shall we sell it in unmarked bottles? Do you drink in front of kids Jack?

    This is just another ludicrous attack on freedom.

  • Comment number 58.

    Do people actually get paid to come up with these stupid ideas? If so they are definitely one for the cuts. A waste of time and taxpayer's money.

  • Comment number 59.

    It may have the opposite effect and glamourise tobacco smoking by making it mysterious and shady. It will also have the effect of further promoting alcohol - since there are no plans to make it's packaging less attractive or prominent. Any supermarket in the country will have a whole aisle of bottles and promotions on any given day.
    Smoking is not the only way to kill yourself so we need a sense of proportion and apply it to all dangerous substances

  • Comment number 60.

    I am a non smoker but I think that the regulations in place are already far way and above what we need. The little darlings don't smoke fags any longer they smoke cannabis instead - the use is rife. HMGOV has tried to ban it and its use has exploded during my short 34 years on this planet alone. you cant change the colour of the packet on a baggy of weed and hassling lambert and butler et al wont make any difference. You failed us HMGOV and the proof is in the current generation, just look around us now at a large portion of our children. We have all failed.

  • Comment number 61.

    41. Jack_Willis wrote:
    "I've been sober for many years now and am not overweight. Alcohol and overeating kill more people every year than smoking but I don't go around with placards telling people they should stop eating or drinking! Why oh why, must the smoker become the most detested individual alive and have their basic freedoms removed?"

    Your cholesterol intake does not effect mine, your carcinogen and mutagen intake through smoking however does through passive smoking, despite what you think you do not have the right to kill us! Smokers are no better than murderers in the eyes of morality.


    Interesting point because a fair proportion of those who die of lung cancer have neither smoked nor been overly exposed to passive cigarette smoke.

    However, don't imagine that passive cigarette smoke is all you breathe if you happen to live in a traffic-congested town. The filth in our air is a disgrace and does cause more immediate health problems: asthma, frinstance.

    You'll find plenty of carcinogens, fine dust from diesel exhausts, etc. You can see the famous dome of filth that covers London and other major cities when you fly in to an airport.

    I once smoked (stopped because I resented the amount of money Chancellors took off me every time I lit up). But doing a stint of work in London's Lower Thames Street I'd claim that smoking allowed me to draw air through a filter - the only way to get clean, fresh air in that area, apart from the cigarette smoke, of course.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm really sorry but this whole debate is a waste of time.

    The reason?

    Well if glitzy packaging were a problem, then the cigarette manufacturers would be making their branding a lot now 'now' & a lot more 'street'.

    Most of the popular brands have not changed their logos for 20 years - I could give you loads of examples, but of course I can't discuss the issue freely because of house rules - I'd have to name specific brands & describe their distinctive logos & packaging & suggest that they haven't changed either because they don't need to seduce the kids of today through packaging - we obviously have to consider that kids are being marketed, because that was the whole fuss over alco-pops several years ago.

    You'll note, Gov ministers - that the tobacco companies did not follow suit with their leading brands.

    I've quit smoking - although ideas like this make me want to start again. Because I don't want to be associated with - how can I put this without breaking house rules? - people who like to pontificate to make themselves feel superior to others & browbeat and control other people who they perceive are less intelligent and who's every waking move and thought they wish to meddle in?

    "Think like me. You must think like me. If you don't think like me, then you're not like me. You're an idiot." Those sort of people.....

  • Comment number 63.

    I gave up smoking years ago.
    What stopped me was that I acquired an annoying little cough that has now disappeared. Recent chest xrays show that I am in excellent health.

    There are many reasons why people smoke and why people stop smoking. The shape, colour or design of the packaging isn't one of them.

    The Dept of Health clearly has too much taxpayers money to spend if it comes up with complete nonsense like this. Perhaps Cameron was wrong to ringfence their budget. Perhaps he needs to slap a 10% cut on the DH as long as it only culls the civil service twerps who think this idea is a goer.

  • Comment number 64.

    When I was a lad - ciggies were sold in plain paper bags by most shops. Didn't stop those that wanted to smoke from doing so.

    It's the perception that smoking is cool, grown up or naughty that needs to be changed, not the packaging.

  • Comment number 65.

    Rarely heard such a ludicrous statement! If children want a cigarette, they do not go around asking what brand people smoke before they"cadge" one . Any cigarette will do. Plain packs will make no differance what so ever. I work in a newsagents, and if we do not have a specific brand most people just say "Give me the cheapest then", not " give me the one in the pretty blue pack"!!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    #57 - Roy Castle was killed by passive smoking.


    It's not an attack on freedom - you can still smoke if you want to.

  • Comment number 67.

    Tobacco - an extremely addictive drug which kills - an almost perfect, but morally indefensible commodity to sell. Unfortunately as existing consumers are killed off new consumer are required. The tobacco companies are increasingly limited in how they can market cigarettes and have become very ingenious at getting around the limitations. One of the few remaining avenues open to them is the packaging which already has health warnings.

    I have no sympathy with the tobacco companies and every sympathy with the addicts no matter how convinced they are in thinking they smoke by choice. Anything which reduces smoking is to be welcomed. Plain packaging and under the counter will help break the idea that smoking is normal.

    And by the way support the pupils and students in this weeks day of action against the increase in tuition fees.

  • Comment number 68.

    57. At 10:38am on 21 Nov 2010, Aneeta Trikk wrote:

    #31 Jack_Willis

    Name one person who has died of passive smoking. You cannot. And the WHO says the passive smoking risk is smaller than the chances of you frying your kids brains with your mobile phone. So please keep your propaganda to yourself. Smokers kill themselves, period.

    You see unlike you I reference my sources, (Metsios GS, Flouris AD, Angioi M, Koutedakis Y., 2010, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20886056), this is a free review article on a recognised medical article database that shows a strong correlation between passive smoking and cardiovascular diseases in children.

    Nobody can deny that cardiovascular diseases lead to premature death and therefore I can say with hard evidence to back me up that passive smoking kills people.

    As for do I drink in front of children? No I don't, I don't even drink as it is a waste of money and I have better things to do with my time.

  • Comment number 69.

    Of course it won`t make smoking less attractive. Smokers don`t smoke because of the packaging, plain or otherwise, and non smokers will not be tempted to smoke because of packaging. More often than not it`s peer pressure that makes people take up smoking.

  • Comment number 70.

    Well, I think all those complaining passive smokers out there should stop whinging - Smokers should charge you for inhaling their smoke - it must represent a form of property theft?

  • Comment number 71.

    I have never smoked as my father told me "a fire at one end, a fool at the other" but if others want to that's fair enough by me. They pay all that tax and then don't collect as much pension. I'm all for more smoking, we should be grateful to them not attack them. We moan that there are too many old people as it is. Leave smokers alone, I've never had smoke blown in my face and a few fag ends are no worse than sweet wrappers, they soon break down, at least they're not made of plastic. Lots of activities damage health far more. The hospitals are full of those injured playing sports and diy accidents, so lets ban them if we are really worried about health and the cost of treatment.
    What is more important is how the anti smoking hysteria was whipped up, it shows the power that the media has to arouse condemnation of one group. Before we go along with this mass censure be very careful it could be something you do or enjoy next

  • Comment number 72.

    We've had graphic medical photos, we've had stark warnings from the Chief Medical Officer for Health, we've had a complete prohibition of all tobacco advertising and sponsorship, now they want plain packaging! It's all laughable really, it's the contents of the packaging that's the issue, not the packet. Once they get that into their heads we might get some progress. It's the same with alcohol, it's what's in the bottle or can that matters, not the container. Message to ministers......address the issues head on and stop tinkering with the peripherals!

  • Comment number 73.

    68. At 10:56am on 21 Nov 2010, Jack_Willis wrote:
    57. At 10:38am on 21 Nov 2010, Aneeta Trikk wrote:

    #31 Jack_Willis

    Name one person who has died of passive smoking. You cannot. And the WHO says the passive smoking risk is smaller than the chances of you frying your kids brains with your mobile phone. So please keep your propaganda to yourself. Smokers kill themselves, period.

    You see unlike you I reference my sources, (Metsios GS, Flouris AD, Angioi M, Koutedakis Y., 2010, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20886056), this is a free review article on a recognised medical article database that shows a strong correlation between passive smoking and cardiovascular diseases in children.

    Nobody can deny that cardiovascular diseases lead to premature death and therefore I can say with hard evidence to back me up that passive smoking kills people.

    As for do I drink in front of children? No I don't, I don't even drink as it is a waste of money and I have better things to do with my time.


    Abstract
    Passive smoking may be implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children because of their partially developed physiological systems. The aim of the present systematic paper is to investigate whether passive smoking is associated with factors that influence the development of CVD in children. Data sources included Medline, Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (CINAHL) research database, Google Scholar, Excerpta Medica database (EMBASE), the 2006 Office of the Surgeon General's report, and the 2005 report from the California Environmental Protection Agency. We identified a total of 42 relevant articles (i.e., 30 reviews and 12 observational). Results revealed that passive smoking may be implicated in deteriorating cardiovascular status in children in terms of unfavorable high-density lipoprotein levels and deteriorated vascular function.

    Jack, I think the word you are looking for in the above is 'MAY'.

    Other than the most important point, you are quite right!!!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Who on earth came up with this daft idea?

    On the basis that less than 10% of any form of advertising is effective, whatever is on the fag packets will make no difference to anyone who wants to smoke.

    It would be far more sensible to increase tobacco duty to a level that puts it almost beyond reach. The taxes raised could then help to pay for all the NHS attention smokers need when they get cancer.

  • Comment number 75.

    49. At 10:28am on 21 Nov 2010, novalidopinion wrote:
    Hey, this must be an HYS record.We have reached 40 comments and no-one has
    mentioned immigrants or welfare scroungers.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Or Mrs T!

    Mind you, Maggie did start selling off council houses so that asylum seekers could come in and flood the country with illegal cigarettes so I guess she can't escape this one either

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    Actually I think it will make them more attractive! After all people can tell if you are opening a packet of cigarettes at the moment, with this half-baked idea, they will have no idea if you are carrying sweets or cigarettes. Grow up, if people want to fund the Government by smoking let them. Personally I gave up over 40 years ago and am not planning tos tart again despite the Government's continuous temptation!

  • Comment number 78.

    Whatever next.... I really dont think people take up smoking because of attractive packageing, a lot of children who take up smoking do so from peer pressure and/or a disire to look 'big' they then become addicted.. end of.

  • Comment number 79.

    Andrew Lansley is quoted as saying that the money saved from spending on remedial care for smokers could be used for education and other societal needs, will the HMRC admit that the tax on tobacco could be used in this way, and that corporate avoidance of tax that runs into billions, which HMRC has just let go after "striking a deal", with the likes of Vodaphone, KPMG, The Barclay twins et al. could also be used to help our ailing NHS and education system ? Do readers think that Mr lansley is missing a trick here, or is this more sleight of hand by the "government" ? It is interesting that investigators have revealed that Vodaphone alone may owe as much as £6 Billion in unpaid taxes by its use of Luxembourg as a base for its subsidiary arm thereby avoiding paying tax on its UK revenues even after an EU ruling stating that "...no application that the profits wont be taxed is likely to be granted". It would seem that the "government" is not operating in a "joined-up" sense and that maybe Andrew lansley ought to be talking closely with Mr Dave Hartnett, the HMRC boss who has cut a deal with the telecoms giant for considerably less than it is deemed liable by independent tax evaluators. So, this stuff about "protecting children" by forcing tobacco companies into a corner, although seemingly worthy on the surface, is nothing compared to what could be done if the "government" was even half-way honest.

  • Comment number 80.

    Are these people aware that current legislation demands not only a very bold health warning, but also an (often graphic) anti-smoking advert on the other side. VERY attractive it is.

  • Comment number 81.

    SheffordQPR where is your evidence to the contrary then? I can see you are not a scientist as you think that you can refute a claim by providing no evidence at all and merely attack the wording while ignoring perfectly legitimate and convincing research.

    It is true it says may, however the results are all there to see, their findings have been peer reviewed and seen as valid and they have had their research published, you have merely attacked the wording and provided no evidence, your post has no scientific merit.

  • Comment number 82.

    Nice headline-grabbing gimmick, like all the advertising bans were, but it'll be just as ineffective at actually cutting tobacco consumption (why do people shy away from using the word "consumption" to describe tobacco use, by the way? Is it because they have too much to lose if the word picks up widely held negative connotations?). Successive governments have created almost a mystique of being quasi-illegal around tobacco that has kept consumption relatively stable and with it, the tax.

  • Comment number 83.

    What a stupid idea. Do the government & campaigners REALLY think people take up smoking because of the pretty coloured packets?? IDIOTS. If they're taking this attitude with ciagarettes are they going to take the same tack on junk/fast food packaging? Hummm I very much doubt it because those companies would have them in court before their feet touched the ground.

    While we're at it is Westminster going to be brought in to line with other places of work & force their smokers out of a comfy smoking room & out on to the streets like the rest of us?

  • Comment number 84.

    Yes it will - why you ask ?
    Tobacco companies use every subliminal means possible to promote and sell their wares in the UK.
    They will jump up and down saying how ineffective this ban will be, but they know that they can no longer use colour and shape to promote this product, one less bit of ammunition. It will take a generation but then the powerful medium of association will be lost. Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.

  • Comment number 85.

    I am a lifelong non-smoker but I am deeply disappointed by this proposal. I had hoped we had seen the end of this sort of sanctimonious micro-management of our lives when we kicked out Labour. It was too much to hope for of course – all modern politicians are the same.

  • Comment number 86.

    Let's be honest, the government wants us to smoke because it generates a fortune in tax. Over recent years we've had a little bit of a warning label attached to the packets, some frightening pictures of diseased lungs stuck to the packs (which after a while you get used to and don't mind), we've had little price increases now and then and some restrictions on where smoking is allowed but nothing major has ever been done to dramatically cut the number of smokers. The government can do whatever it wants but people are still going to smoke, they can't put up prices much further because of all the cheap imported cigarettes available in corner shops. This is a losing battle for the government and always will be.

  • Comment number 87.

    To answer the headline question,' Will plain cigarette packaging make smoking less attractive?'

    As any long-term smoker will confirm, it is perfectly possible to pick up a new packet, pick at and remove the 'opening' strip with thumb and forefinger, remove the two separated pieces of cellophane, flip the lid with thumb, then with thumb and forefinger remove the protective foil, take out a cigarette and put it between one's lips

    All that can be done without even a glance at the packet

    Printed warnings and gory pictures do not make the slightest difference to the long-term smoker

    Would it deter children from starting? I doubt it, if printed warnings and gory pictures didn't, why would a plain packet?

    'Are you a smoker? Yes (moderately so)

    'Are you trying to stop smoking'? No

    'Would these measures help you' No

    'Does packaging help recruit smokers'? No, I think peer-pressure and doing that which is forbidden is more important than packaging

    Having said all that, I'm all for preventing children from starting and the only way to do that would be for them never to see anyone, ever, smoking a cigarette and that would presumably involve a complete ban, at least in public but that is a controversy for another day


  • Comment number 88.

    At least the environment will be less harmed by the packaging production.

  • Comment number 89.

    83. At 11:15am on 21 Nov 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    What a stupid idea. Do the government & campaigners REALLY think people take up smoking because of the pretty coloured packets?? IDIOTS. If they're taking this attitude with ciagarettes are they going to take the same tack on junk/fast food packaging? Hummm I very much doubt it because those companies would have them in court before their feet touched the ground.

    While we're at it is Westminster going to be brought in to line with other places of work & force their smokers out of a comfy smoking room & out on to the streets like the rest of us?

    -----------

    This myth comes up every time. Can we kill it now please? Smoking is NOT PERMITTED anywhere in the Palace of Westminster. Got it?

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    I did NOT say that there was evidence to the contrary. YOU claimed that the statement said there was. If you will insist on doing your research in such a wooly minded manner, don't be surprised when someone points out your errors!

  • Comment number 92.

    89. At 11:25am on 21 Nov 2010, James Daly wrote:

    83. At 11:15am on 21 Nov 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    What a stupid idea. Do the government & campaigners REALLY think people take up smoking because of the pretty coloured packets?? IDIOTS. If they're taking this attitude with ciagarettes are they going to take the same tack on junk/fast food packaging? Hummm I very much doubt it because those companies would have them in court before their feet touched the ground.

    While we're at it is Westminster going to be brought in to line with other places of work & force their smokers out of a comfy smoking room & out on to the streets like the rest of us?

    -----------

    This myth comes up every time. Can we kill it now please? Smoking is NOT PERMITTED anywhere in the Palace of Westminster. Got it?

    ______________________________________

    Actually yes it is & the reason given for ministers having an indoor smoking room was for security reasons.

  • Comment number 93.

    > Would this deter children from starting smoking?
    No. Children smoke to be rebellious and 'cool'.

    > Are you a smoker?
    No

    > Does packaging help recruit smokers?
    An extremely small percentage of people are more likely to smoke due to shinier packaging I guess, but there's far more important strategies to follow, such as if someone who smokes gets cancer then they should a premium for their cancer treatment. Maybe this would wake some people up to a thing called 'consequence'.

    I know they already pay high taxes, but people have to pay for their actions, just as an extremely overweight person should have to pay money towards a gastric band, or for diabetes medicine.

  • Comment number 94.

    #68 Jack Willis

    There is a strong correlation between opening your mouth and a sound coming out. That doesn't mean that one causes the other.

    There is no evidence that passive smoking exists. Tobacco smoke is the same as cooking smoke, smoke from a car exhaust, form a firework, from a bonfire, from a barbecue. All the carcinogens are present. Twenty years ago medicine believed stomach cancer was not a bacteria infection. The problem the medical profession has is called obsession.

    Answer my point about alcohol a much greater killer.

  • Comment number 95.

    No - children will still smoke.

    It's not the advertising, the celebrities or whatever. Under age smoking is the first act of 'drug' defiance......therefore cigarettes are the true gateway drug.

  • Comment number 96.

    DH overlooks the power of additions. It is very naive for them to think that those drinkers and smokes are ignorant in healthy living style and they required further education. As a matter of fact, some of them are smarter than medical professions.

    DH have spent millions of pounds for useless campaigns and generated very few successful cases for own back-padding, which is totally wasting of public fund.

    I talked to my smokers colleagues about those Nicotine patches before. Currently, the Nicotine patches are more expensive than cigarettes and causing side effects of sleepless, vomiting and nausea. I stepped into the shoes of the smokers, and I can understand why they don’t want to quit smoking.

  • Comment number 97.

    92. At 11:30am on 21 Nov 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    89. At 11:25am on 21 Nov 2010, James Daly wrote:

    83. At 11:15am on 21 Nov 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    What a stupid idea. Do the government & campaigners REALLY think people take up smoking because of the pretty coloured packets?? IDIOTS. If they're taking this attitude with ciagarettes are they going to take the same tack on junk/fast food packaging? Hummm I very much doubt it because those companies would have them in court before their feet touched the ground.

    While we're at it is Westminster going to be brought in to line with other places of work & force their smokers out of a comfy smoking room & out on to the streets like the rest of us?

    -----------

    This myth comes up every time. Can we kill it now please? Smoking is NOT PERMITTED anywhere in the Palace of Westminster. Got it?

    ______________________________________

    Actually yes it is & the reason given for ministers having an indoor smoking room was for security reasons.

    ------------

    Rubbish. See this:http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-06-11b.141621.h

    Smoking is permitted only in four EXTERNAL locations.

  • Comment number 98.

    well i was a smoker for many years (free 2 yrs now :D )
    but to say that the industry tries to lie to the purchaser and trys to seduce kids with package is a joke theres big health warning on mupltiply sides of the packets please think before you open your mouths you silly people you make the campaign to stop smoking look like muppets
    on a downside if we did manage to totally wipe out smoking there would be a big backlash TAX wise so think !!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Some wag has suggested they should carry a picture of heaven.




 

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