Ministers are criticised after plans for plain pack cigarettes are put on hold

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 15 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4544
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

Cancer Research UK has said it is “bitterly disappointed” by the government’s decision to wait for more evidence on the effects of standardised plain packaging on cigarette and other tobacco products before deciding whether to adopt the policy.

The charity said that branding on cigarette packets made them more attractive to children, with around 40% of regular smokers saying they started smoking before the age of 16.

Harpal Kumar, the charity’s chief executive, said that lives would be lost as a result of the decision and accused the government of putting industry profits ahead of children’s health.

He added, “What’s shocking is that more than 200 000 children start smoking every year in the [United Kingdom]. They are lured into an addiction that is often lifelong but that kills half of all long term users. We can’t stand …

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