Government has lost “credibility on public health” for inaction on cigarettes and alcohol, campaigners say

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 09 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3024
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Health campaigners have criticised the UK government for failing to include plans on legislating for plain cigarette packaging and a minimum price for a unit of alcohol in the next parliament.1

Lindsey Davies, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said evidence existed that both measures could have saved lives, and ministers’ failure to enact them was “profoundly disappointing.”

She urged the government to think again, saying, “When it comes to policy decisions that affect everyone’s health, it’s actions, not words, that make a difference.”

The BMA’s chairman of council, Mark Porter, questioned the government’s commitment to protecting the nation’s health.

He said, “The evidence shows that standardised packaging helps smokers quit and prevents young people taking up the habit and facing a lifetime of addiction. I am bitterly disappointed that the government has bowed to pressure from the tobacco industry, whose only objective …

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