A consultation is underway about the possible introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products – and your local NHS is urging people to make their views known.
If the proposal is approved, it would mean that all tobacco products would be required to look the same. Standardised packaging could consist of, for example:
- No branding
- A uniform colour
- A standard font and text for any writing on the pack.
Dr Jenifer Smith, Director of Public Health for the Isle of Wight says there are merits to having plain packaging on tobacco products.
She said: “If all tobacco products were sold in plain packs, research indicates that they would be less attractive to children, stop young smokers thinking that some brands are less harmful than others, and it would make the health warnings stand out even more. This has particular relevance on the Isle of Wight as we have very high rates of smoking in pregnant mothers and high reported rates of teenagers smoking.
“Quitting smoking is the single most important thing that smokers can do to improve their health – but even better is not starting in the first place. Our view is that any sensible measure that discourages people from smoking is worthwhile – for their health, and that of those close to them.
“The Government has an open mind on the proposal and responses are invited from any interested person, business or organisation. The consultation closes on 10 July so there is plenty of time to give a considered view on the proposals.”
Visit the Plain Packs Protect website: http://www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk/ to lend your support. Alternatively, respond to the full consultation on the Department of Health website: http://consultations.dh.gov.uk/tobacco/standardised-packaging-of-tobacco-products/consult_view
Information about the prevalence of smoking on the Isle of Wight and its impact can be found in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) at http://www.iwight.com/council/facts_and_figures/JSNA_Briefing_Notes_and_Datasets/Life_Style/