Last week the House of Commons in Britain had approved standardized tobacco packaging in the UK. And on Monday, 17 March 2015, members of the House of Lords rubber-stamped the new law to introduce plain packaging on cigarette packets. With this move Britain is set to be the first Member State of the European Union to introduce the new law stating that every cigarette packet in Britain will be monochrome with the brand name written in plain type next to warnings about the dangers of smoking. The law will come into effect in May 2016.
A similar legislation had been passed in Ireland last year, ans was implemented fully in the last month. Australia has also made these changes 4-years back and since then the smoking rates have fallen in the country.
With a similar aim to help prevent youngsters taking up the habit by making packs less appealing, 113 MPs in the House of Commons overwhelmingly approved the move last week, despite fierce opposition from the tobacco industry. Darker colors such as olive green are proposed to be used on the packaging, as they are believed to represent danger.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said, "The vote was a decisive moment in the battle to reduce the impact of smoking. Today we should remember the millions of people who have died too young from diseases caused by smoking, and the families and friends they left behind. This misery must not be inherited by our children."
Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said, "It was an immense triumph. Today parliamentarians stuck to their guns, despite the desperate efforts of tobacco lobbyists, in the name of the 200,000 children in this country who are every year enticed to take up smoking."
The tobacco industry and pro-tobacco campaigners have said, "The new law was a sign of government overreach." While, the Tobacco Manufacturer's Association said, "There was a complete lack of evidence that the policy will work."