Standardised tobacco packaging

UK plain pack mock-up_articleThe tobacco industry are using packaging to make its products more attractive, especially to children. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked. Standardised packs, intended to protect children from the harms of tobacco, must happen as soon as possible.

The tobacco industry have been putting up a big fight as they know that standardised packaging would take away one of their last forms of advertising for their lethal products. Thousands of you fed into the UK Government consultation on standardised packaging and contacted your MPs in support of this move. 

The UK Government recently announced the findings of an independent review into standardised packaging and its effects on public health. The review found that there is a strong public health case to support the introduction of standardised packs. There will now be a final short consultation on the proposal and a law to bring in the new packs could be passed and implemented by 2015.

Thank you to all of our campaigners for supporting the campaign so far, this outcome wouldn't have been possible without their time and efforts. 

What's happening in Europe?Girls cigarette packets

The European Parliament recently voted on measures intended to deter young smokers and stop the tobacco industry from using their packs as a marketing tool to recruit the next generation of smokers.

Hundreds of campaigners contacted their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) urging them to support these measures.

The result of the vote has meant that health warnings will get bigger, but disappointingly slim cigarettes haven't been banned. MEPs recently voted to:

  • increase health warnings to cover 65% of packets, on both sides and top of the box 
  • ban tobacco flavours such as vanilla, chocolate and menthol
  • ban cigarettes being sold in packs of less than 20

Important progress has been made with these measures being passed, but more could have been done to protect children from the marketing of tobacco products.

Why standardised packaging?

While tobacco advertising is being made a thing of the past, advertising on cigarette packaging remains a clear anomaly. We want to see plain cigarette packs introduced – to end this loophole of tobacco advertising. Standardised packaging will make smoking less attractive, particularly to young people, by:

  • Removing all logos and attractive colours from the packs
  • Making the health warnings more prominent
  • Ensuring that smokers aren't being misled about some brands being less harmful than others
Battling the brands
We talk to the public about their perceptions of cigarette brands and why plain packaging is so important.