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UK moves to legislate on standardised cigarette packaging before election

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 23 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h416
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

After years of delay the UK government has said that it backs the public health case for introducing standardised packaging for tobacco products and that it will allow a free vote in the Commons before the general election.

If MPs vote in favour of the measure it will allow regulations to come into force at the same time as the European Union Tobacco Products Directive in May 2016, which will bring in a wide range of tobacco control measures including larger, illustrated health warnings, as well as banning flavourings, including menthol.

Ministers in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will need to confirm whether they consent to the regulations that apply to their parts of the United Kingdom. Under the proposed regulations all packaging of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco would be dull brown on the outside and …

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