The Scottish government is gearing up to launch its own plain packaging consultation in a matter of months.

Legislation on tobacco packaging in Scotland was a key action in the Scottish Government’s tobacco control strategy, following a UK-wide consultation on the principles of plain packaging last year.

Public health minister Michael Matheson pledged to “push ahead” with the plans and be ready to consult on detail “within months”.

“Unlike the UK government, we will not back away from this important measure to help protect our young people from becoming the smokers of tomorrow,” he said.

“We will consult on the next steps in the coming months after which we will look to introduce legislation in 2014-15. Introducing plain packaging will make an important contribution to our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence and achieve our target of a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.”

The government would also “continue to take account of any new evidence emerging from Australia”, which introduced plain packaging last December. “After that we will look to introduce legislation in 2014-15,” he added.