Standardised packaging victory

11 March 2015        

Plain cigarette packaging

Today’s vote in favour of standardised packaging is a landmark victory for the nation’s health that will go towards saving thousands of lives.

Parliament voted earlier to introduce regulations on standardised tobacco packaging that will come into force in May 2016.

The vote coincided with No Smoking Day, our campaign to encourage one million smokers to attempt to quit.

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

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “This is a landmark victory that will go a long way to reducing smoking rates, improving the nation’s health and saving thousands of lives.

“Too many families are devastated every year by losing a loved one to the deadly consequences of smoking.

“This new law will help prevent young people from starting this toxic habit by reducing the appeal of colourful packs.

 “Evidence shows that standardised packs are working in Australia to make smoking less attractive and we are delighted it will now be implemented here.

“This is a significant step forward on the path to a smoke-free UK.”

Smoking risks

There are nearly ten million adults smokers in the UK, around 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.