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14/04/2014

Government to move ahead with standardised cigarette packets

CigarettesThe government is moving forward with plans to ban branding on cigarette packs, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison told MPs.

She said an independent report found it was “very likely to have a positive impact” on public health and stop children from starting to smoke.

Ms Ellison said she was publishing draft regulations for a final, “short consultation”.

Labour accused Ms Ellison of kicking the issue “into the long grass”.

The consultation will apply to England and Wales, while Northern Ireland has indicated it will follow suit and Scotland already has plans to introduce plain packaging, meaning the UK could become the first place in Europe to make this step.

Shadow health secretary Luciana Berger called for immediate legislation to ban branding, telling MPs: “There is an overwhelming body of evidence in favour of standardised packaging and there can be no excuse for a further delay.”

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