Government mulls plain packaging for cigarettes

The Government is looking at banning logos, colours and graphics from cigarette packets as part of set of measures aimed at cutting the number of UK smokers by half over the next ten years.

Cigarette packets would be packaged very basically with just the text of the brand of cigarettes against a grey background.

The measure is being considered as part of a commitment to cut the number of those smoking by 50% unveiled by the Department of Health today (1 February). The DoH says the number of people smoking has fallen by a quarter in the past decade to 21% of the population with a proposed target of 10% by 2020.

The move to ban logos and graphics robs cigarette manufacturers of one of the last avenues they have to market their brands following the blanket ban on cigarette advertising in 2003.

Andy Burnham, Health Secretary, claims recent studies have shown that tobacco packaging influences smoking behaviour rather than just promoting particular brands.

He adds: “Removing brand marketing on packs and having a requirement for ‘plain packaging’ on all tobacco products would increase the effectiveness of health warnings and reduce misconceptions about the relative risks of different brands which terms like ‘smooth’ perpetuate.

“All cigarettes prematurely kill lifelong smokers regardless of make or brand. So we need to look closely at the evidence on the links between packaging and consumption.”

Other measures being considered include banning cigarette vending machines and a crackdown on illegally imported cheap cigarettes.

Chris Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, welcomed the move to curb the “illicit trade” in tobacco products but slammed the plan to ban brand marketing on packets, adding “all policy in this area should be based on evidence and not merely tokenistic.”

Latest from Marketing Week

Influencers, consultancies and the recruitment crisis: The key topics of conversation at Cannes Lions

cannes lions

Cannes Lions 2018: Marketers turned out in force to advertising’s biggest annual event. But away from the usual talk of purpose and creativity, some big issues such as the recruitment crisis, how advertising responds to the #MeToo movement and cleaning up the influencer marketing space were discussed.

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here