New standardised tobacco packaging laws welcomed

31 May 2016

Cheshire West and Cheshire Council has welcomed new laws which will force cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco made for sale in the UK to be sold in plain packaging with dramatic visual health warnings.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing said:
“In West Cheshire around 1,600 deaths are attributable to smoking each year and the number of children and young people who smoke runs in to the hundreds. Research shows that they are more likely to continue smoking into adulthood, facing a greater risk of developing smoking-related ill health.

“For a long time tobacco companies have used colourful branded packets which can attract children and young people at an age where the greatest uptake of smoking is seen. Standardised packaging has already reduced smoking rates in Australia. With this measure, we too can look forward to the reduced appeal of smoking to children.” The new packs are mandated under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. There will be a one year transitional period to allow for the sell-through of old stock and from May 2017 all tobacco products on sale in the UK will comply with the regulations.

The new regulations, which received overwhelming support from North West MPs, are also backed by the public. YouGov data shows that 61 percent of adults in the North West of England support the laws requiring tobacco to be sold in plain standardised packaging with the product name in standard lettering.

At the same time the revised European Union Tobacco Products Directive has also come in to effect. This requires larger health warnings on the front and back of packets and prohibits slim 'lipstick'-style cigarette packs. 

If you are thinking about quitting smoking you are four times more likely to quit with the help of a Stop Smoking Service Advisor who can offer you free support and advice. 

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