Plain packaging cigarettes
Plain packaging was introduced by Australia in December, 2012 to reduce the appeal of cigarettes and reduce smoking rates.
Plain packaging removes logos, colours, brand images and promotional information from cigarette packages – all packs are a standard colour, with a standard font, and a large, graphic health warning.
Which countries have implemented plain packaging?
Australia was the first country to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes in 2012.
Countries around the world that have now (or are about to have) introduced plain packaging, include:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
Studies have shown the positive impact of plain packaging.
Around the world
Over 20 countries around the world are at various stages of implementing, progressing or investigating plain packaging laws.
Norway and Hungary are currently taking significant legislative steps, while other countries including Canada, South Africa and Sweden are strongly discussing plain packaging.
New Zealand adopts plain packaging
New Zealand cleared its last obstacle on 8 September, 2016, passing legislation to implement plain packaging.
A date has not yet been announced, but it is reported plain packaging could arrive in early 2017.
United Kingdom and France go plain
The UK and France implemented plain packaging of cigarettes on 20 May, 2016.
All new cigarettes sold in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and France will now carry plain packaging, with one year permitted to sell existing stock in the UK and just over six months in France.
For the UK it was a journey that started in 2012, almost three years before the legislation was passed in March, 2015.
Cancer Research UK brought the message to a national audience, developing videos highlighting the need to protect children from tobacco marketing.
Over the next three years, around 90,000 supporters took action on the campaign with petitions, visits to parliament and over 200,000 people responding to the initial 2012 Government consultation.
Coming soon in Ireland
Plain packaging of cigarettes is due to come into effect across Ireland in May, 2017.
After initially being scheduled for May 20, 2016 in line with the UK and France, there was a delay in passing the bill due to national elections.
The Irish Times reports Health Minister Simon Harris has now confirmed the new date, and plain packaging will be rolled out to reduce the appeal of cigarettes in the country.
Visit the Irish Cancer Society for more information.