Plain cigarette packs review ends

Cigarettes on display The government wants smokers to give up their habit

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A UK-wide consultation on government plans to introduce mandatory plain packaging for tobacco will close later.

It was extended by a month to allow more people to respond after strong public interest in the issue.

The proposal could mean information about individual brands being removed from cigarette packets, with just the name and warnings visible.

Plain packaging is seen by campaigners as the next step in discouraging young people from taking up smoking.

It could mean every sign of individual brands, from their logo, colour or typeface, being replaced by standard packaging simply carrying warnings and the name of the cigarettes.

Packets are likely to be a dark olive green.

When he launched the consultation four months ago, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he wanted tobacco companies to have "no business" in the UK.


It comes after a ban on tobacco displays in large shops started earlier this year. Smaller shops will have to follow suit by 2015.

Australia is currently the only country which has agreed to plain packaging, although the policy has been challenged in the courts by manufacturers.

Start Quote

Plain, standardised packaging of its lethal products frightens Big Tobacco silly because it threatens its profits”

End Quote Deborah Arnott Ash

Research published there has suggested that cigarette packets have increasingly become an important marketing tool as restrictions on advertising and sponsorship have been brought in.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of campaign group Ash, said: "Plain, standardised packaging of its lethal products frightens Big Tobacco silly because it threatens its profits.

"That's why the industry has devoted millions of pounds to put pressure on politicians and prevent the government from going ahead with this measure."

But Simon Clark, director of Forest, a lobby group funded by the tobacco industry, said: "There is no evidence that standardised packaging will have any health benefits.

"Advocates base their arguments not on facts but on speculation."

The government said it would make a decision when the responses to the consultation had been considered.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I completely agree with this policy. The horrible colour and plainness of the packaging might just deter people from buying them. Cigarettes may no longer have the 'chic' look for smokers and will look less of a fashion icon.

    If it were up to me, cigarettes would be banned overall!

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    I strenuously agree that plain packaging should be enforced. Cigarettes and smoking are absolutely disgusting, I hate it when people walk down the street blowing smoke into your face. It's an expensive addiction that degenerates society by putting excessive strain on the NHS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 280.

    Please just ban smoking, this topic would no longer be a problem.

    On a nice sunny day it would be loverly to sit outside a pub having a cool pint, without the stench of tobacco.

    Also how about being able to walk in and out of buildings without people hovering outside the entrances puffing away.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    I am a smoker and I enjoy it. I have no problem with packaging, but I do object to the warnings. Why should anybody try to harm my fun? I say, remove the warnings, or reduce the duties that I am charged to pay for them. It might also be useful to look at other causes, e.g. healthy eating, air pollution and clean streets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.

    Smoking should quite simply be banned.


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