Council chiefs in Nottinghamshire have backed the newly approved plans to standardise all cigarette packaging across the country.
A total of 367 MPs voted in favour of the new proposals in a free vote at Westminster earlier this week, meaning that from 2016 every cigarette packet will look the same.
The move will affect the estimated 10 million smokers in the United Kingdom with the only thing that will be different for each packet being the make and brand name.
“Smoking has a negative impact on health and well-being, and wider emotional effects on the families, friends and carers of people who have smoking-related problems,” says Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
This is excellent news and the new standardised packaging will help to visually reinforce the message that smoking is harmful to health.
The packaging is also set to feature graphic photos accompanying health warnings, subject to approval by the House of Lords.
Despite a large number of MPs voting for the proposals, the Tobacco Manufacturer’s Association has criticised the plans, arguing that there is a lack of evidence the new packaging will work.
The move comes after large shops were banned from displaying cigarettes in 2012.
“Anything that warns people of the risks associated with smoking and discourages people from taking up smoking in the first place is to be welcomed. This is particularly so in the case of young people,” continued Cllr Bosnjak.
“More than 600 children aged between 11 and 15 start to smoke every day – more than 200,000 a year. If that number could be cut even by 2%, 4,000 fewer would take up the habit.”