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Home > Impact assessment opinion: Standardised packaging of tobacco products

United Kingdom. Department of Health. (2014) Impact assessment opinion: Standardised packaging of tobacco products. London: Department of Health.

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What policy options have been considered, including any alternatives to regulation?

“Option 1: Require changes to legislation to bring the UK in line with the European Tobacco Products Directive in 2016. (This is essentially a “do nothing” option).

Option 2: Go beyond the European Tobacco Products Directive in 2016 and require standardised tobacco packaging of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco (HRT). In line with the approach set out in the consultation document, this would involve the standardisation of pack colour and shape and the removal of all branding except brand name in a standardised typeface. Relevant legal markings such as health warnings and tax stamps would be retained as well as authentication markings to reduce trade in illegal tobacco products.

Option 3: Defer a decision pending collection of evidence on experience with plain packaging in Australia.

Option 2 is preferred in view of the possibility of very substantial health gains that it offers, deferral of which would be permanently detrimental to successive cohorts of young people and would-be quitters.”


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