63% back plain cigarette packages

Nearly two-thirds of citizens in the UK support suggestions to remove cigarette packages of their trademarks, a review indicates.

Plain Cigarette Packs

Displays of plain cigarette packs

The set of questions, carried out with 2,000 adults on the part of Cancer Research UK, identified that 63% supported standardised packs rules.

On December 1, Australia became the first country worldwide to place all tobacco products in plain packs. Now all tobacco product packs just have the name of the brand and health warnings on them.

The rules prohibit the use of trademarks, brand images, signs, colours and advertising text. Packages are now in a plain dark brown colour, showing a graphic health warning and the name of the brand in a standard colour, position, font size and style.

Earlier this year the British Government released a consultation on strategies to implement obligatory plain packaging for all tobacco products. Health campaigners have accepted the proposal, but opponents stated it would result in higher smuggling and job losses.

Data produced by the consultation, which closed in August, is still being examined by health officials.

Charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said that the primary function of plain packaging is to deter youngsters from smoking.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said that tobacco companies are afraid of the removing of the last methods of promotion from their products and are investing millions of pounds in the UK to struggle the step. She believes that Government will examine the data and not be influenced by the false information put out by the cigarette makers.

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “With so many youngsters taking up to smoke annually, the Government must demonstrate good authority to minimize attract of cigarettes. Thus it’s crucial the Government implements plain packaging as soon as possible, providing millions of youngsters one less motive to take up smoking.”

A Department of Health spokesman stated: “The Government’s decisions to take further steps will be made only after full analysis of the consultation responses, facts and other related details.”

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