Tobacco packaging vote welcomed by Leeds Health leaders
The successful campaign to have standardised packaging for tobacco was welcomed by Leeds Director of Public Health, Dr Ian Cameron and Health and Wellbeing Board Chair, Councillor Lisa Mulherin today.
MPs voted last night to introduce standardised cigarette packs from 20th May 2016, with 367 MPs voting for the measure and just 113 against. Although there was intense lobbying by the tobacco industry to sway politicians against the measure, the tobacco industry will be prevented from selling cigarettes in attractive packaging from next year.
Councillor Mulherin said:
“This will help protect the next generation of children and young people from starting to smoke. The work of organisations such as ASH will protect children and save lives. Two thirds of current smokers started when children, and half all lifetime smokers will die from smoking related disease so everything we can do to reduce smoking is a good thing.”
Dr Cameron said:
“This is excellent news and I’m delighted that there was such a high level of support for the measure. The tobacco industry fought against these changes in legislation and lost the argument. Reducing tobacco use in Leeds will save lives and improve health outcomes for tens of thousands of people, and I look forward to seeing further reductions in tobacco use in the future helped by these changes.”
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.
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: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/standardised-packaging-of-tobacco-products-draft-regulations
The EU Tobacco Products Directive. http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/products/revision/index_en.htm
The Introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco. (Impact Assessment) HMRC 12 Feb. 2015
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