Tobacco products, including cigarettes and roll your own tobacco, will be sold in plain packaging, the government announced today.
Following the publication of the Chantler Review on standardised packaging, health minister Jane Ellison said she intended to publish draft regulations “as swiftly as possible”.
“The evidence has been examined, the arguments for and against have been thoroughly explored and their merit assessed by Sir Cyril Chantler,” she said.
The Chantler Review made a “compelling case that if standardised packaging were introduced it would be very likely to have a positive impact on public health and that these health benefits would include health benefits for children,” Ellison added.
“In light of this report and the responses to the previous consultation in 2012 I am therefore currently minded to proceed with introducing regulations to provide for standardised packaging.”
Draft regulations will be published shortly, alongside a “final, short consultation” in which the government will seek views on anything new since the last full public consultation.
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said introducing plain packaging would be “reckless and damaging to local shops” and the tens of thousands of small retailers who already had to implement a tobacco display next April.
JTI managing director Daniel Torras also slammed the news: “The latest reports from Australia indicate that plain packaging has had no positive impact at all and that the illegal trade is increasing. For the Chantler review to discount the only real world evidence available is inexplicable,” he said.