November 29, 2012 7:42 PM
Mark is backing the plain packaging campaign

Mark is backing the plain packaging campaign

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, has joined up with local residents and health charities to back the campaign to introduce Australian-style plain, standardised cigarette packaging in the UK.

From the 1 December cigarettes in Australia must be sold in dark olive brown packets which are mostly covered in health warnings. Health charities in the UK, including the British Heart Foundation, want the UK Government here to introduce similar legislation. Mark has been contacted by a number of local residents making clear their support for the campaign and nearly 150 local residents have contacted Cancer Research UK to voice their support for the campaign.

Currently, tobacco companies can use distinctive colours, brand designs and logos on their packaging. Research has shown that plain packaging would reduce tobacco's attractiveness, increase the effectiveness of health warnings and stop misleading claims about the harms of smoking. (1)

The UK Government has recently conducted a public consultation on the issue and is considering whether to bring forward legislation on standardising the packaging of tobacco products for the whole of the UK.

Mark Hunter MP, said:

"Cigarette packaging is one of the last forms of marketing tobacco companies can still use to attract new customers. Australia is leading the way in stopping people from becoming addicted to a lethal and harmful product.

"a number of local residents and health professionals have written to me making clear their support and, if we care about the health of people in our community, then we should introduce plain, standardised packs in the UK and help stop the next generation of smokers being recruited."

Tracey Paul, Advocacy Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said:

"Smoking kills over 100,000 people every year and smokers are twice as likely to have a fatal heart attack as someone who's never smoked. (2)

"Scientific evidence shows that removing the glitzy designs from cigarettes packs makes them less attractive. We should introduce legislation on plain, standardised packaging and stop this lethal product being marketed to young people."

What would you like to do next?