Plain cigarette packaging delay 'matter of regret'

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The Health Minister Mark Drakeford said on 17 July 2013 that the UK government's announcement that it was delaying its plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging is a "real matter of regret".

He was replying to a questions from Gwyn Price, AM for Islwyn.

Under the plans, cigarette packets would all be the same colour, have the same font and carry a graphic warning.

UK government ministers have denied caving in to the tobacco industry.

The Plaid Cymru member Elin Jones also expressed disappointment at the UK government's decision and asked whether Wales could go it alone and introduce its own policy.

Mr Drakeford replied that he will take advice from Welsh government officials who will examine whether ministers in Cardiff Bay have the power.

He added that he will continue to make his views known to the Department of Health and will be liaising with colleagues in the Scottish government on this issue.

Wales introduced a ban on smoking in public places in April 2007, three months ahead of England.

UK government ministers said last week that a decision on plain packaging had been delayed in order to assess how a similar scheme was operating in Australia.

There were also questions, among others, on improving the career structure for care workers, multi agency working to protect vulnerable people, and action to tackle diabetes in Wales.

There were also questions to the Counsel General regarding the legislative competence of the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill.

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