Major victory for public health: MPs vote to introduce standardised cigarette packs on 20th May 2016

Author: ASH

Date: Mar 2015

ASH congratulates the MPs who have today demonstrated overwhelming support for standardised tobacco packaging – a measure that will protect children and save lives. 367 MPs voted in favour of the measure with just 113 against, despite intense lobbying by the tobacco industry to sway politicians against the measure. 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.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“The Government, and MPs from all parties, are to be congratulated for resisting the bully-boy tactics and misinformation of the tobacco industry and for implementing the most important public health reform of this Parliament.”

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Last revised: 12 March 2017

Next review: 12 March 2020