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Standardised Packs: Time to act

The SFAC welcomes the publication of the independent review of evidence undertaken by Sir Cyril Chantler on standardised packaging.

Speaking in the commons, Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health said that the report found it was "very likely to have a positive impact" on public health. The Government will shortly publish draft regulations, alongside a short, final consultation on the policy.

The consultation followed Parliamentary support for the inclusion of enabling legislation on standardised packaging in the Children and Families Bill. In the Lords this happened without a vote, the vote in the House of Commons was overwhelmingly in support of standardised packaging as well as proxy purchasing and an age of sale for e-cigarettes of 18 with 453 in favour and only 24 against. If you want to know how your MP voted, click here.

ASH gave evidence (pdf) to the inquiry by Sir Cyril Chantler. 

The Chantler review asked the SFAC to provide oral evidence and provide a short submission. The following experts provided oral evidence on behalf of the SFAC: Fiona Andrews, Director, Smokefree Southwest; Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, ASH;  Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation. Luk Joossens, Advocacy Officer of the Association of European Cancer Leagues; Sarah Woolnough, Executive Director of Policy & Information, Cancer Research UK. ASH also provided a critique (pdf) of the tobacco industry’s evidence.  

- Government announcement on 28th November 2013 (Hansard)
- Debate in House of Commons, 28th November 2013 (Hansard)
- Debate in House of Lords, 28th November 2013 (Hansard)
- Children and Families Bill (pdf)
- Amendment on regulation of retail packaging etc of tobacco products - Clause 57B (tabled 17th December 2013)
- Debate in the House of Lords, 29th January 2014 (Hansard)
- Debate in the House of Commons, 10th February 2014 (Hansard)

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.

Member organisations of the Smokefree Action Coalition have pledged their support for standardised packaging.

plain pack compared to normal packs
Example of what plain packs could look like compared to current packs.

Key points about standardised packaging

• Smoking is a childhood addiction not an adult choice1
• More than 200,000 children start smoking each year2
• Half 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 and there is no
evidence it will increase smuggling11.

Press releases and letters

- Press release, 03 April 2014
- Press release, 29 January 2014
- Major Win for Public Health as Government Goes Ahead With Standard Packs Legislation, ASH Press release, 28 November 2013
- Press release, 12 July 2013
- Media advisory: Has the Government Caved in to Tobacco Lobbying?
- Press release, 08 May 2013
- letter to the Prime Minister, 08 May 2013
- letter to the Deputy Prime Minister, 08 May 2013
- letter to the Health Secretary, 08 May 2013
- Press release, 02 May 2013
- letter to the Prime Minister, 2 May 2013


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