British Government Holds up Plain Packaging Plan

Published on July 23rd, 2013 00:00

The British government postponed its intentions to prohibit cigarette manufacturers from using any branding on cigarette packages in England, announcing it wished to first look at the effect of an identical conclusion in Australia. The step was welcomed by cigarette makers who declare that plain packaging would hurt jobs and support cigarette smuggling, but highly criticized by health representatives.

Britain's authorities posted the final results of an examination on plain packaging which reported that 53 % of participants in favor of the action however stated it had determined to wait until the effect of the Australian ban might be assessed.

In 2013, Australia approved a law declaring cigarettes should be sold in dark brown packages with any colors or logos, with the brand name printed in a standard small font. The new law's designators state it goes too far, noting that cigarette packages were printed by now with graphic health warnings. "Definitely we get seriously the prospective for standard packaging to decrease smoking rates, but taking into account the different opinions, we have made a decision to put it off until the promising effect of the option in Australia can be assessed, and then we will consider what to do in England," Health Minister Jeremy Hunt stated.

Imperial Tobacco, the world's fourth biggest cigarette maker, reported it stays in favor of the present delay. "We have always made our opinions obvious that there is no proof that plain packaging would accomplish its claimed result, that it would have an anticompetitive effect, and we have always outlined the effect it would produce on the illicit trade in the UK which is currently increasing," a representative mentioned.

Tobacco control supporters declare the cigarette makers are strongly attempting to hinder tobacco control actions, mainly by means of legal actions started by four countries at the World Trade Organization (WHO), while trying to overturn the Australian law. The WHO issue brought by Ukraine, Cuba, Honduras and Dominican Republic could require a year or even more to achieve a conclusion, however it has not yet began, considering the fact that the complainants have yet to lead to the lawsuit stage of the trade challenge, and have no responsibility to do so.