On Wednesday 11th March 2015 MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of the regulations to implement standardised tobacco packaging. 367 MPs voted in favour of the measure and just 113 against. The regulations were approved by the House of Lords on 16th March and the measure will take effect in May 2016. The measure will take effect from 20th May 2016 at the same time as the EU Tobacco Products Directive comes into force which introduces new rules including, for example, on the size and placement of the health warnings.
Member organisations of the Smokefree Action Coalition have pledged their support for standardised packaging. See SFAC briefing on standard packaging regulations.
Hundreds of children start to smoke every day. This is not a party political issue; it is a vital matter of child protection and public health. Putting cigarettes in standard packs will stop the pack being used to promote the product and help make smoking history for our children.
How standardised packs look like compared to traditional packs.
• Smoking is a childhood addiction not an adult choice1
• Hundreds of children start smoking each day2
• Half of all lifelong smokers die from their addiction – that’s over 100,000 people
last year in the UK3
• Cigarette packs are attractive and misleading, especially to children4,5
• The public support plain, standard packaging6
• The public health community support plain standard packaging7
• There is cross party support at Westminster for standard packs8.
• Standard packs are cheap and easy to implement9
• Australia already has standard packs. Retailers have found it easy to implement10,11 and there is no
evidence it will increase smuggling4,12.