New Laws In The UK And EU Further Restrict Tobacco Industry

Getty Images

Getty Images

In recent months, some Brits have expressed their distaste for European Union regulations - a frustration that helped motivate the Brexit vote last summer.

The new rules - called the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) - will apply to all European Union countries selling tobacco products.

Plain packaging will be standard for all cigarette packets sold in the United Kingdom from this weekend.

In a series of questions put to consumers over the last five months as the new measures were being phased in, the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) has tracked the impact of these regulations on smoker behaviour and found a growth in people buying from non-UK duty paid sources.

Similar restrictions will apply to e-cigarettes and packets of rolling tobacco too.

In May 2016 it became law for all tobacco products to be sold in a "standardised" brown packaging.

Under the new tobacco laws, all cigarettes will be sold in standardised green packaging - previously described as "the ugliest colour in the world" by researchers - specifically created to discourage people from smoking. The BBC reports that some have called the new standardized cartons "the ugliest color in the world".

Smokers will also have to cough up extra cash to pay for their tobacco, with packs of 10 cigarettes banned and the cheapest pack costing £8.82 after the move.

The measures were brought in a year ago but retailers were given time to get rid of old stock before the green packaged cigarettes came into force.

If the health service could reach this target, around 100,000 cases of smoking-related disease, including 35,900 cancers, would be avoided, saving huge amounts of cash from health and social care budgets.

Health charities say if just a fraction of these children are discouraged from taking up smoking as a result of standardised packaging, it will save thousands of lives. "Now we need a tobacco control plan".

Margaret Carr, Cancer Research UK's public affairs manager in NI, said reducing the appeal of tobacco products was "essential".

The group's director Simon Clark said: "The new regulations treat adults like naughty children. Important measures such as phasing out brightly coloured and slickly designed tobacco packaging will go a long way to preventing people from starting smoking in the first place".

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