Government announces MPs will vote on standardised packaging

21 January 2015        

Standard packaging

The British Heart Foundation has warmly welcomed news from the Government that regulations on standardised tobacco packaging will be put to the vote in Parliament before the May general election.

If approved, the new legislation would see tobacco products stripped of their colourful packaging in a bid to prevent future generations from taking up smoking.

Plans to make standardised packaging law have received overwhelming support from the public, health professionals and politicians in both the House of Lords and House of Commons and have been backed by evidence in the 2014 Chantler review.

Smoking can significantly increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Every year around 22,000 people in the UK die from a cardiovascular condition caused by smoking.

Standardised tobacco packaging was introduced in Australia in December 2012. Research commissioned by the BHF shows the new policy has made tobacco products less attractive to smokers and ex-smokers in Australia, and made health warnings on packaging more noticeable.

Our Director of Policy Mike Hobday said: “We are absolutely delighted. The Government has taken another key step towards securing new legislation that will help protect young people from the deadly consequences of smoking.

“Standardised packaging is already working in Australia to make smoking less attractive to the public by stripping tobacco products of the colourful packets that make them so appealing. It is right that we do everything in our power to emulate that success here and relinquish the power tobacco companies have over young people in the UK. 

“In the run-up to the final vote we would urge all MPs and Peers to give this important public health reform their full support.”