read the news // live the culture
Current affairsNews

Ministers to follow Australian example over cigarette packaging

  Wednesday 6th March 2013

Following the Australian example, cigarettes are to be sold in plain packaging all over the UK to deter young people from smoking, said ministers last night.

The legislation will be announced in the Queen’s speech in May, along with an attempt to also ban smoking in cars carrying anyone aged under 16.

Supporting the ban, the health minister Anna Soubry, a former smoker, said: “Lighting up on the road is a child welfare issue.”

The move comes after a Lancet study of 19 countries found that UK was falling behind in the health and well-being league table and stands behind 14 other countries including Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States.   

Ministers are convinced that branding plays a key role in persuading young people to start smoking and believe the government should follow Australian model of drab packaging.

In Australia, cigarettes are sold in dull olive coloured packs with graphic health warning images of the effects of lung cancer and the brand name in uniform typeface.

The idea behind the packaging is that “plain colours have negative connotations that weaken attachment to brands, project a less desirable smoker identity and expose the reality of smoking”, according to research by the University of Stirling.

The study also revealed that young non-smokers found plain packaging less appealing than older smokers.

Despite the ban on open display of tobacco products in supermarkets, introduced in the UK last year, figures show that one in five people still smoke in Britain and smoking causes over 100,000 deaths every year in the UK.

Ministers are also looking to introduce interventions to improve the diets of 120,000 troubled families. The project, headed by government advisor Louise Casey, has come about as it is believed that poorer families are far more prone to obesity and immune to health messages than wealthier families that are taking up healthy food options.

Aastha Gill


More about the author


Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

Hostage Alan Henning’s wife pleads IS to release him
Hostage Alan Henning’s wife pleads IS to release him

The wife of British aid volunteer Alan Henning has issued a desperate plea that he be released by his terrorist [read more]

Ebola vaccine trials to be conducted on volunteers in Oxford
Ebola vaccine trials to be conducted on volunteers in Oxford

A new Ebola virus vaccine is being trialled for the first time on volunteers in Oxford. The trial will involve 60 [read more]

Major high street brand Phones 4U falls into administration
Major high street brand Phones 4U falls into administration

Phones 4U fell into administration on Sunday after its last remaining network provider EE joined Vodafone to cut [read more]

Barclays bank to replace pin numbers with finger readers
Barclays bank to replace pin numbers with finger readers

Barclays bank is introducing finger vein technology for its business customers, which the bank announced will soon [read more]

Royal Baby on the way with William and Kate expecting their second
Royal Baby on the way with William and Kate expecting their second

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have announced they are expecting their second child. Kensington Palace [read more]

Archives