Government stubs out plain cigarette packaging plans

The Government is set to confirm that it is shelving plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging in the UK.

Australian plain cigarette packaging features graphic warnings
Australian plain cigarette packaging features graphic warnings

According to reports, Ministers are expected tell MPs that a decision on the policy is being delayed.

This is apparently so that more time can be spent looking at how a similar scheme has worked in Australia, where plain cigarette packaging was introduced at the end of last year.

A Department of Health spokesman told the BBC, ‘This is an important decision and we make no apology for taking time to get it right.’

The Government has been mulling the idea of introducing plain packaging since 2010, when then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley launched a White Paper on public health that floated the idea.

However, the decision to abandon the plans has been expected since they failed to get a mention in May’s Queen’s Speech, which sets out Parliament’s plans for the year ahead.

The UK would have been the second country in the world to introduce plain cigarette packaging, but it is likely to be pipped by the Republic of Ireland, which has pledged to bring in plain packs imminently.

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