Plain packaging announcement 'a positive step'

Published: 03 April 2014

The RCN has called the Government’s announcement of the publication of draft guidelines on standardized packaging of tobacco products a ‘positive step in the right direction’, and called for immediate action to save lives. 

In November 2013 the Government commissioned Sir Cyril Chantler to undertake an independent review into whether the introduction of plain tobacco packaging would have an effect on public health.

Minister for Public Health Jane Ellison MP today made a statement to the House of Commons summarizing the findings of the review, which found that standardized packaging would be ‘very likely’ to have a positive impact on public health, and the health of children.

Jane Ellison also announced that the Government will be publishing draft regulations for standardised packaging, followed by a consultation.

‘No time to waste’

“This is a positive step in the right direction, as there are still 600 children taking up smoking every day and 2,000 people a week dying from smoking-related diseases, and there really is no time to waste,” says Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN.

“Nurses see firsthand every day the tragic effect that smoking has on people’s lives. While there is not one silver bullet to preventing smoking, the evidence from Australia shows that plain packaging can play an important part in protecting people from ever taking up this deadly addiction.

“The Government is right to press ahead with draft legislation so more lives can be saved.”