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Greater Manchester no longer has a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now taken responsibility for policing and crime.

Commissioner backs plain cigarette packaging proposals

5 comments

Smoking packets with branding removed and warning messages instead

Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd is backing plans to standardise cigarette packaging in a bid to deter youngsters from smoking and reduce the financial burden on public health care services.

He has also dismissed claims by tobacco companies that standardised packaging will increase the sale of illicit tobacco.

Tony has written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, in support of the proposals, which is one of a number of stop smoking measures expected to be announced by the Government later this year.

Tony said: “Smoking is a lethal addiction – one which unfortunately is all too appealing to our children and we have a duty and responsibility to do all we can to deter smoking and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“More than 200,000 11-15 year olds take up smoking every year in the UK, with almost 600 children trying a cigarette for the first time, every single day*. By taking away the brightly coloured, branded packaging and replacing it with more prominent, shocking health warnings, we’ll be taking away one reason for our children to start smoking. 

“Tobacco companies have argued that these proposals will make packaging easier to counterfeit and so increase the sale of illegal cigarettes but I’ve spoken with senior officers at Greater Manchester Police who have given me absolute confidence that the security markings to be used on the standardised packaging will be no less useful than the existing system, making them no easier to copy.

“It’s clear to me that standardised packaging will help to reduce the number of people, especially children, smoking, which in turn will improve the health of our citizens and reduce the burden on our public health services. That’s why I have written to the Home Secretary in support of these proposals.”

Pat Karney, Director of Tobacco Action, added: “The tobacco companies are spending millions on trying to stop these sensible proposals. I am proud our Commissioner is standing up for the welfare and health of our young people.

“Kids have a right to grow up in a smoke free world and be protected from the tobacco industry.”

The proposals would mean all cigarette packs would look the same, with no branding or logos and health warnings made more prominent.

The Department of Health ran a public consultation on plain packaging between March 2011 and August 2012.

In December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.

Click here for an infographic on smoking and children. From the plainpacksprotect.co.uk website.

5 comments

Kalimar

Typical Labour. Always wanting something banned for some spurious reason. I’d be more inclined to believe the many career policemen who say plain packaging will make things easier for counterfeiters, rather than a couple of politicised career politicians with a dislike for big business.

gmpccadmin

Thanks Kalimar. As the news item says, Tony has taken advice on this from Greater Manchester Police and the claim that plain packaging will make things easier for counterfeiters simply does not stack up.

Sandy Barrows

This is ridiculous – the illicit trade will love this – far easier to copy
An invite for dangerous product and it will not deter children
Total Poppycock !

gmpccadmin

Thanks Sandy. Research carried out over 20 years has demonstrated that enticing packaging encourages young people to smoke. The link to the infographic in the news article gives a visual representation of this, but if you want to look into it a bit more, this Australian document includes the results of 24 international and peer-reviewed studies that looked at the effects of packaging and young people.

David Collins

Thank you for speaking out on this Tony. The tobacco companies have been trying to use alleged “Police” fears about standard packs to support their killer product.
A poll of 500 Police just after they had been treated so badly by this government gave a very predictable result against the government consultation.
As usual,when they cant attack the message they attack the mesenger. The twitter account funded by the tobacco companies have just tweeted. “Police and crime commissioners are not real coppers, just politicians getting into new line of work.”
Please keep up the good work. You may not be a copper but if the pushers of a killer drug don’t like you, you must be doing something right.

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