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UK Steps Up Anti-Smoking Campaign With Plain Cigarette Packaging By May 2017

Update Date: Apr 27, 2017 09:57 AM EDT

The United Kingdom is taking their campaign against smoking seriously. While it still cannot totally ban smoking the UK government intends to use plain cigarette packaging to cut down the number of smokers by 300,000.

How Will Law Help?

The study is from the Cochrane Review, which is a global independent network of researchers and health professionals that produces health information that is free from commercial sponsorships as conflicts of interest may arise. They basis was a review of over 50 studies that tackled the impact of plain cigarette packaging which they surmised to lessen the appeal of tobacco and reduce the prevalence of smoking, Reuters reported.

The plain cigarette packaging law, which comes into full effect this May mandates that all cigarette packs must display health warnings and follow a standard color, shape, and font. The health warnings should be a combination of picture and text that covers 65% of the front and back of the packaging.

Branding is prohibited, except for product name and brand variant, which will follow the standard font size and color. The law also regulates that the packaging be cube-shaped with an olive green color.

The packets are allowed to contain a minimum of 20 cigarette sticks and should be devoid of misleading information on tar and nicotine content. Descriptors like "smooth" or "gold" are likewise banned, BBC reported.

Uruguay's Move Followed By Many

After the rest of the world followed Uruguay's decision to put health warnings on cigarette packs, the world has seen a dramatic reduction on the number of smokers and would-be smokers. It was seen to be an effective way of communicating the effects of smoking on the body.

Australia was the first country to implement plain cigarette packaging in 2012 after much debate. It released a peer- reviewed report, which showed plain cigarette packaging reduced uptake of smoking in young Australians and smokers felt that tobacco tasted worse in these packages. It overturned the effect of packaging as a means of tobacco promotion.

Other countries that will follow the plain cigarette packaging practice are France, Ireland, Hungary, and New Zealand.

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