UK Parliament approves new law to implement plain cigarette packaging

11 March 2015 (Last Updated March 11th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Parliament has passed new legislation that will implement mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products.

cigarette packaging

The UK Parliament has passed new legislation that will implement mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products.

This comes amid legal threats from the nation's $29bn tobacco industry.

The upper house of parliament is yet to pass the law, which would permit only specified text such as the brand and variant name, and ensure that any permitted text adheres to particular requirements.

Initially, the new legislation will be put into force in England only, though the Welsh Government has said it will follow suit and Northern Ireland and Scotland are also considering a similar step, Reuters reported.

"We want all children in our country to grow up free from the burden of disease that tobacco brings."

UK Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: "We want all children in our country to grow up free from the burden of disease that tobacco brings."

The numbers of deaths caused by tobacco consumption is expected to increase to eight million by 2030 from the current six million, according to the figures release by the World Health Organization.

Ellison said that the new plain packaging law is expected to come into effect by May 2016.

The legislation, which is aimed at improving public health and reducing the number of child smokers, may crimp tobacco company profits.

British American Tobacco was quoted by Reuters as saying that the company plans to file a lawsuit against the UK Government within 30 days of the legislation's final approval.


Image: The new law will permit only specified text such as the brand and variant name, and ensure that any permitted text adheres to particular requirements. Photo: courtesy of Mister GC via Freedigitalphotos.