Cigarette packs unrecognisable to next generation

16 March 2015        

The Houses of Parliament

Current cigarette packs will be “unrecognisable to the next generation of children” following a vote by the House of Lords to introduce standardised packaging.

MPs voted last week to approve regulations on standardised tobacco packaging and following the vote the law will come into force in May 2016.

The new legislation will see tobacco products stripped of their colourful packaging in a bid to prevent future generations from taking up smoking.

The introduction of standardised packaging will coincide with other measures which come from the European Tobacco Products Directive.

From May next year, the size of health warnings on packs will be increased, ‘slim’ cigarettes will be outlawed and cigarettes will only be sold in packs of 20.

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: "This clampdown on tobacco packaging means that today’s children have a much better chance of not smoking.

“Cigarette packs that are plastered in colourful, eye-catching advertising will soon be condemned to history and completely unrecognisable to the next generation of children.

“With less attractive packaging and larger health warnings, it will be far more difficult for cigarette manufacturers to avoid the fact that smoking kills.”

Plain packs are working in Australia

There are nearly ten million adults smokers in the UK, almost one-fifth of the adult population. Smoking causes around 100,000 deaths every year, with an estimated 22,000 attributed to cardiovascular conditions.

Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked.

We have been calling on the Government to introduce standardised packaging in the UK and believe that it will give health warnings on packs more impact.

Standardised tobacco packaging was introduced in Australia in December 2012. Research we commissioned 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.

Smoking rates in Australia plummeted to a record new low between 2010 and 2013. Now just 13% of people aged over 14 are daily smokers.