Milestone reached in protecting children against harms of tobacco
FPH welcomes Commons vote on standardised packaging
FPH is delighted that MPs have supported legislation that would lead to the introduction of standard packs: 367 MPs voted today in favour of the measure against just 113 against, despite intense lobbying by the tobacco industry. 
Standardised (“plain”) packaging will be introduced at the same time as the EU Tobacco Products Directive measures on packaging and labelling, increasing the size of the health warnings to 65% of the pack and putting picture warnings on the front of all packs, on 20th May 2016. 
The move to prevent cigarettes being sold in glitzy packaging will help protect the next generation of children and young people from starting to smoke. Two thirds of current smokers started when children, and half all lifetime smokers will die from smoking related disease.  The introduction of standardised packs is a public health priority in FPH’s Manifesto for the general election, Start Well, Live Better. 
Dr John Middleton, Vice President for Policy at the Faculty of Public Health, said: “This is excellent news: this vote is a significant milestone in our efforts to protect people, particularly, children, from the harms of smoking. We thank every MP who voted in favour of this measure, and in doing so, put children’s health ahead of the profits of tobacco manufacturers.”
Notes and Links:
Following the vote in the Commons the regulations will now pass to the House of Lords. A vote in the Lords is expected to take place next week. If passed, the regulations are expected to take effect from May 2016.
- Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015
- An image of what a standardised cigarette pack might look like is included in Appendix C of the Government’s consultation document The EU Tobacco Products Directive.
- The Introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco. (Impact Assessment) HMRC 12 Feb. 2015
-  See Smoking Statistics, Action on Smoking and Health, January 2015
-  Start Well, Live Better – 12 priorities for public health action
Written: 12/03/2015 , last modified: 03/09/2015