The image, released to the public by the Department of Health, arrives following the publication of draft regulations on tobacco packaging yesterday, which are open for a UK-wide consultation which will run for six weeks, closing on 7 August.
The designs are similar in colour, typeface and use of off-putting photographic imagery to the Australian standardised packaging already in use.
Among the information in the consultation documents, which can be downloaded from the Department of Health website here, is a series of criteria for the look and feel of the new packs, stating that the ‘outside surfaces of packs would be drab brown with a matt finish’, ‘the inside surfaces of packs (internal packaging) would be white or drab brown’ and ‘text on packaging would be in a grey Helvetica typeface, with a specified maximum size.’
Pack surfaces must be ‘smooth, with no embossing or irregularities of texture’, it says, and the draft regulations specify the same colours as those required in Australia (Pantone 448C for packaging and Pantone Cool Grey 2C for any allowed text).
The brand name can only be shown ‘once on each of the front, top and bottom surfaces of cigarette packs, once on each of the front and back surfaces and on the surface hidden beneath the flap of hand-rolling tobacco pouches.’
The document also states that a pack of cigarettes must contain a minimum of 20 cigarettes, and a pack of hand-rolling tobacco must contain at least 30 grams of tobacco.
According to the Department of Health, the objectives of the new packs include ‘reducing the appeal or attractiveness of tobacco products’; ‘reducing the potential for elements of the packaging of tobacco products other than health warnings to detract from the effectiveness of those warnings’; ‘reducing opportunities for the packaging of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the effects of using them’ and ‘reducing opportunities for the packaging of tobacco products to create false perceptions about the nature of such products’.
In April this year, the Government announced it was to ahead with plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging in the UK following an independent review published by Sir Cyril Chantler which concluded that standardised packs would ‘have a positive impact on public health’, says the Department of Health.