Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

May 12th, 2013:

Scotland to lead on plain cigarette packets

Jason Allardyce Published: 12 May 2013

Scotland may regulate cigarette packaging designScotland may regulate cigarette packaging design (PA)

SCOTLAND is preparing to become the first country in Europe to force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packaging to try to discourage young people from taking up smoking.

The move would regulate packaging design and could lead to most of the packet bearing photos of smoking-related cancers.

The SNP administration has written to Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, stating that scrapping bright packaging would help reduce smoking rates in Scotland to 5% or lower within 20 years.

About 15,000 people aged 13-24 take up smoking in Scotland each year and campaigners are convinced that many are drawn to “glitzy” packets and the attractive images these promote.

In the letter, Michael Matheson, the Scottish public health minister, said the SNP government wanted clarification of the coalition’s intentions “before deciding on the most appropriate legislative measures and route for introducing standardised packaging”.

While UK-wide action would be simpler, an SNP