MPs this week approved new legislation to introduce standardised packaging for cigarettes in the UK. On the day of the vote, which coincided with International No Smoking Day, Dr Jenny Hatchard from our Tobacco Control Research Group spoke about the importance of such a measure.
Dr Hatchard, whose research has focused on attempts by the tobacco industry to influence Government policy on the packaging of tobacco products, said:
"The Tobacco Control Research Group strongly welcomes the UK Parliament's vote on standardised cigarette packaging, which gives recognition to the ever-growing body of peer-reviewed evidence supporting the measure.
"Tobacco companies have undertaken an unremitting three year opposition campaign, in which they hid behind third parties as they tried to dissuade politicians from acting in the interests of children's health.
"As our research has shown, tobacco companies' arguments that standardised packaging would have negative consequences for health, the economy and the illicit tobacco trade were based on low quality and sometimes misleading evidence, the conclusions of which were contradicted by independent data.
"The vote indicates that the strong evidence that this measure is likely to reduce the appeal of smoking and bring health benefits for young people for generations to come has finally won out."
Our research in Social Work & Social Policy recently ranked sixth nationally by overall GPA in the independently-assessed Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF 2014). Research by the Tobacco Control Research Group was part of this submission. 84 per cent of our impact in this area was deemed to be world-leading.
To find out more about the research from the Group on standardised packaging read our latest research feature ‘Up in smoke: our researchers debunk Big Tobacco’s arguments against standardised packaging’.
For more coverage, Jenny was quoted in this Wall Street Journal piece Branding on Cigarette Packs Banned by UK Parliament and in this MailOnline piece Cigarettes to be sold in plan packets with gruesome health warnings from May next year as MPs back landmark new law.