Letter to Anne Milton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health
Anne Milton MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health
Department of Health
February 20th 2012
I am writing to express my support for the plain packaging of all tobacco products as one way of discouraging children from smoking.
As you will know, it is estimated that every year in England over 340,000 young people under the age of 16 are encouraged to try smoking for the first time.I’m sure you will agree this is cause for serious concern and extensive research has indicated that introducing plain packaging guidelines could make a real difference.
Making tobacco packaging uniform in colour and design can help reduce youth smoking and decrease youth uptake. Uniform packaging would stop the use of packs as promotions and advertising. It would increase the visibility and effectiveness of health warnings on packaging, as well as ensure smokers are not misled into thinking some brands are less harmful than others. Simple packaging would also remove positive associations with particular cigarette brands or images.
A survey commissioned by Action and Smoking on Health (ASH) found that 70 percent of the public would support plain packaging if evidence showed that it would make health warnings more effective. 80 percent would support plain packaging if it reduced the attractiveness of tobacco products to children.
I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
6 Plain Packaging of tobacco products: A review of the evidence. Quit Victoria 2011