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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Society wants standardised tobacco packaging

Standardised tobacco packaging should be introduced, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said in its response to a UK-wide consultation on the issue.

Giovanna Di Tano, lead pharmacist in smoking cessation for NHS Lothian, contributed to the RPS response. She explained that, because most people start smoking in adolescence, the strategic battle against tobacco was to stop adolescents starting smoking in the first place. "Young people have been shown to find certain forms of packaging to be appealing, attractive or ‘cool’. This seems to be particularly true of girls between 12 and 18 years of age. We therefore decided to support any measures that would force the packaging of tobacco to be standardised and also as unappealing as possible to young people," she said.

The proposal is for cigarette packets to be in a standard colour, with text in a standard colour and typeface. No branding or advertising would be allowed.

The consultation, by all UK Government health departments, closed on 10 August.

A similar law will come into effect in Australia despite opposition from tobacco companies which lost a high court case earlier this week.