Plain packaging update…
Tobacco plain packaging
November 8, 2013
Public Health Minister reaffirms commitment to implement in 2014/15.
Despite challenges by the tobacco industry, the Scottish Government will press ahead with plans to introduce plain packaging, Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson has confirmed.
Speaking to an audience of public health experts, Mr Matheson said:
“I am determined to see Scotland remain at the forefront of those countries committed to bold action to reduce the harm to our health caused by tobacco.
“We have seen all around the world that the tobacco industry does not like governments taking decisive action to protect people from the harms caused by the products they produce.
“We will not be deterred by the tobacco industry. They have failed before in challenging the Scottish Parliament’s ability to legislate on public health, as we saw in the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Imperial Tobacco’s challenge on the tobacco display ban.
“We must also hold the tobacco industry to account. They have sheltered behind smokers and retailers for too long while we know that every year children are taking up tobacco use and falling into addiction.
“The delaying tactics used by the tobacco industry are being increasingly exposed for the myths that they are.
“To build a generation free from tobacco it is necessary to restrict the imagery and design that tobacco companies use to pull in another generation to use these addictive and lethal products.
“I am very encouraged by the early findings coming out of Australia following implementation of plain packaging there. These add to, and support, the wealth of existing evidence which consistently shows that plain packaging would reduce the appeal of tobacco products to consumers.
“We will, of course, continue to take account of any new evidence emerging from Australia as we move toward a consultation on the next steps in Scotland in the New Year.”
Mr Matheson was speaking (on Friday, November 8) at the Faculty of Public Health Conference ‘Making Scotland a Healthier Nation’.