News & Comment

UK government announces tobacco control plan

Wed 9th March, 2011

UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has confirmed plans to implement Labour legislation to ban the display of tobacco in shops.

Retailers will be given additional time to prepare. The regulations will now begin on 6 April 2012 for large stores and 6 April 2015 for all other shops.

On plain packaging, "the Government has an open mind and wants to hear views". There will be a consultation and an "assessment of the impact" before the end of 2011.

Quoting directly from the written statement, the Tobacco Control Plan has three "national ambitions" to reduce smoking rates in England by the end of 2015:

  • From 21.2 per cent to 18.5 per cent or less among adults
  • From 15 per cent to 12 per cent or less among 15 year olds, and
  • From 14 per cent to 11 per cent or less among pregnant mothers

"These ambitions represent reductions in smoking rates that exceed the reductions we have seen in the past five years."

The Government has set out key actions in the following six areas:

  • stopping the promotion of tobacco;
  • making tobacco less affordable;
  • effective regulation of tobacco products;
  • helping tobacco users to quit;
  • reducing exposure to secondhand smoke; and
  • effective communications for tobacco control.

Full Government statement here.

See also: Forest attacks tobacco control plans (press release),
Brand ban no way to a Big Society (Tom Miers, The Free Society)

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