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December 2nd, 2013:

Guardian: Cigarettes could get plain packaging by 2015 after (UK) government U-turn

from Denis Campbell and Patrick Wintour of the Guardian:

Cigarettes could be sold only in plain packets after a government U-turn on a major public health policy that previously appeared to have been dropped.

In a surprise move the coalition is set to give ministers the power to introduce the policy, although actual implementation will be subject to an evidence review.

The latest volte face came after a cross party group of peers tabled amendments to the children and families bill that would have introduced standardised packaging.

The group, led by Lord Faulkner, were confident of winning the vote in the Lords since they had prestigious medical support in the Lords for the measure.

The evidence review, which will be led by Sir Cyril Chantler, a distinguished doctor, academic and NHS administrator, will report by the end of March.

Subject to its findings, plain packaging could be in force before the 2015 general election.


ITV: Plain packets ruling a ‘victory for public health’

from ITV news:

The chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said the decision to introduce plain packaging is a “victory for public health” and hailed the “positive impact” of the move in Australia, which introduced standardised packaging almost a year ago.

This decision is a victory for public health, for common sense and for future generations who will as a result be protected from glitzy, colourful and misleading tobacco packaging.

The Government should be given due credit for being willing to listen to Parliament and to the experts and change its mind.

We understand the need for a review of the evidence and we are pleased that this will be carried out with the necessary speed to ensure that it reports early in the Spring.

– Deborah Arnott, Ash chief executive

28 Nov 2013