Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products
Email Campaign

I recognise that the issue of standardised packaging for tobacco products has provoked strong feelings on both sides the debate. I want to assure you that reducing the harm caused by smoking is a public health priority for the Government.

The Government’s Consultation on Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products was aimed at understanding whether there is evidence to demonstrate that plain packaging would have an additional public health benefit, over and above existing tobacco control initiatives.

Currently, only Australia has introduced standardised packaging, which it did only recently in December 2012. Having carefully considered the views expressed, the Government has decided to wait until the emerging impact of the decision in Australia can be measured, to make a final decision on the policy in England.

As I am sure you will agree, this decision is an important one to get right for England, and the Ministers intend to keep the issue under review. The Government will continue to implement its existing plan to reduce smoking rates through ending the display of tobacco in all shops, running national behaviour change campaigns to encourage smokers to quit and through supporting local authorities to provide effective stop smoking services.

These strategies are working. England is recognised as the leading country in Europe for tobacco control and, for the first time since records began, adult smoking rates are under 20 per cent.

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