Taking action on smoking and health
Standardised packaging is not actually 'plain', but instead involves regulating the design characteristics of tobacco packaging (e.g. the branding, colouring, typography, size, shape and method of opening), so that tobacco products must be sold in a standardised form of packaging.
Sample UK "plain" packs
From May 2016, cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco produced for sale in the UK must be in standardised packs. From May 2017, only tobacco in plain packs can legally be sold under the relevant regulations:
Australia became the first country in the world to introduce standardised packaging in December 2012.
There has been international interest in the impact of the legislation, with the tobacco industry desperate to disparage the results and warn other countries away from following Australia’s lead.
In response Cancer Council Victoria has produced a fact sheets page which shows that:
In addition the dire tobacco industry warnings of a boost to the illicit trade, of an increase in smoking rates and confusion when shops attempt to serve customers have not materialised.
The Australian Government has released a major report, crediting standardised packaging with causing a significant decline in smoking prevalence.
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.