Setting the Standard for plain cigarette packaging

Support our campaign

Help standardise cigarette packaging and prevent young people from taking up smoking.

Make standard packs a reality

The Government has set its intention to bring in standard cigarette packs. We only have a short window of opportunity to make this happen. Ask your MP to put pressure on the Government to press ahead.

Email your MP

Background

Every year the equivalent of 6,900 classrooms of 11-15 year olds start smoking in the UK. Addiction keeps them smoking into adulthood, where it then kills one in two long-term users.

Watch our video showing how tobacco companies have gone as far as local laws allow to recruit young people as smokers.

No children were smoking in this film. Find out how we made this film.

Since tobacco advertising became illegal in the UK in 2002, tobacco companies have invested a fortune in branded packaging to attract new smokers. Most of these new smokers are children, with more than 80% starting by the age of 19.

Our evidence shows that removing all branding and design from the packs makes cigarettes less attractive for both adults and children. 

Support the campaign to protect children from tobacco marketing.

In April 2014, Minister for Health Jane Ellison MP set out the Government’s intention to bring in standard cigarette packs, announcing that draft regulations will be laid out. This move follows an independent review by Sir Cyril Chantler, which agreed that standard packs would have a positive impact on public health, especially for children and young adults.

The announcement is a significant step towards a healthier future for the UK’s children. But we’re not there yet – the Government needs to make its final decision and move quickly if standard packs are to be achieved within this parliament.

How you can help

We only have a short window of opportunity to make sure that laws for standard packs are secured. There are two ways you can help us do this:

  • Please send your MP a quick email urging them to put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, to make sure standard packs are brought in as soon as possible.
  • Watch and share our shocking campaign video showing how tobacco companies have gone as far as local laws allow internationally, to recruit young people as smokers.

What are plain, standard packs?

Plain standardised packaging means all cigarette packs will look the same. They are packaged in a standard shape without branding, design or a logo:

  • Health warnings will remain
  • Brand names will be in standard type face, colour and size
  • The shape, colour and method of opening the packet will be standardised
  • The duty paid stamp will remain with covert markings that show the pack is not counterfeit
  • Cigarette packs are also standardised in size and colour

Standardised packaging would apply to all tobacco products including rolling tobacco and cigars.

Support for standard packs

In the UK, the campaign for standard packs has been supported by over 200,000 people – including 80,000 of our own supporters. According to a YouGov survey, 85% of all mothers and grandmothers with children under 18 believe children should not be exposed to any tobacco marketing (2013). 

Elsewhere, in December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce standard packs for cigarettes. And New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland are set to follow. 

As health is a devolved issue, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all passed ‘Legislative Consent Motions’ that would mean laws for standard packs could extend to all four nations if the regulations are secured in Westminster.

Evidence and information

Our evidence shows that plain, standardised packaging will help reduce smoking rates. Get more information on why we're campaigning.

See our evidence

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