Consultation launched on standardised tobacco packaging

18 Apr 2012 11:19 AM

A UK-wide consultation seeking views on whether tobacco products should be sold in standardised packaging has been launched.

The government is exploring whether action on tobacco packaging has the potential to bring public health benefits over and above those from our current initiatives.

Standardised packaging could consist of, for example:

  • no branding
  • a uniform colour
  • standard font and text for any writing on the pack

Views are also sought on whether there might be other implications if standardised packaging requirements were introduced, including any potential effect on the illicit tobacco market.

The consultation asks for views on whether:

  • tobacco packaging should remain unchanged
  • plain packaging should be adopted
  • a different option should be considered

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“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.”

You have until 10 July to have your say on the tobacco packaging consultation.

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.

Systematic review of evidence

The Public Health Research Consortium, a network of researchers funded by the Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme, has published a systematic review of the evidence on plain tobacco packaging.

The review was commissioned by the Department of Health and supported through the Public Health Research Consortium.

The report represents the work and views of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.