July 2012: Tobacco Packaging

Thank you very much to everyone who took participated in my recent e-consultation on plain tobacco packaging. Nearly 300 constituents responded and on this issue, there was clear support for one side of the argument.

The final tally showed that 74% agreed that all tobacco products should be sold in plain, standardised packaging, with 26% against the idea.

This certainly suggests that there is a good degree of consensus among respondents that tobacco products should be sold in plain packaging.

Some of the main arguments given in support of the proposals included:

  • Smoking should be made as unglamorous as possible to put of young people in particular.
  • Commercial competition between tobacco companies would be suppressed, leading to a reduction in other types of advertising, and a general loss of power and revenue for tobacco companies.
  • Bright colours and attractive colours are said to attract consumers so removing these would be beneficial.

Some of the main arguments given against the proposals included:

  • Other drugs are sold in plain packaging yet people still seek them out and get addicted – why should tobacco be any different?
  • Existing hard-hitting warnings do an effective job already.
  • An unregulated black market would be created, further risking health and financing crime.

As you know, the Coalition Government is consulting on this issue. I will be submitting a response based on the consultation and including a representative selection of the comments made. Once the responses are considered, the Government will then announce what action it will take on this issue.

Many thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote and submit comments and I will be in touch again soon with another e-consultation.

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.