Ministers launch fresh review on cigarette packaging
The government has announced an independent review of cigarette packaging in England, amid calls for action to discourage young smokers. Following a consultation exercise in July the Government failed to make a decision, saying further evidence was needed to show whether it would be effective.
Early evidence suggests it is indeed effective. A study in the state of Victoria, Australia, found, not only did it make smokers more likely to think about quitting, it also worked subconsciously – smokers felt the cigarettes were of poorer quality.
The report of the review will be available in March. The Government is putting in place regulations to enable them to act quickly if the review is positive. It is even possible that standardised packaging could be in force before the 2015 General Election.
Health campaigners have welcomed this development. Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on smoking and Health, said: “This decision is a victory for public health, for common sense and for future generations.”