British authorities oblige tobacco companies to change to black-and-white cigarette packs

The Health Minister of Great Britain, Andy Burnham, unveiled a ten-year plan for tobacco control.

The UK government intends to oblige tobacco companies to remove brand logos from the packaging of cigarettes in order to leave only black-and-white packs with the name of cigarettes and warnings about the dangers of tobacco in the market.

white cigarettes pack

white cigarettes pack

It should be reminded that earlier only four percent of the area of the pack was intended to cautionary warning, and the requirements to the font, background and frame were not governed. Now, information about the dangers of smoking should be placed in a black frame, applied in black letters on the white background in order to easily read it.

According to government plans, by 2020 half of the eight million British smokers should give up this bad habit, and the proportion of smokers among the population will decline from 21% to 10%. The minister said that this is only an intermediate step. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to completely eliminate smoking in the United Kingdom. “In not too distant future the day will come when we look back and it will be difficult to understand why someone once smoked”, he said.

Other measures, which were outlined in the plan, include a ban on the sale of cigarettes in vending machines and increase of the excise tax on tobacco that lead to growing prices. Now the usual pack of cigarettes costs about six pounds in the UK. The Government also intends to increase allocations to combat the smuggling of tobacco, an annual volume of which makes 200 million cigarettes. Simultaneously, the national health system will expand the program to provide free assistance to people wishing to quit smoking. According to the Ministry of Health, seven of ten smokers want to get rid of this bad habit.

Laws against tobacco in the UK are ones of the toughest in the world. Since 2006, it is banned to smoke in public places, including office space, restaurants and bars in Scotland. The similar ban was introduced a year later in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also in 2007, tobacco advertising was prohibited in Britain. The only possibility of tobacco companies to promote their tobacco products was to apply bright logos on the packaging.

According to the government, every year in Britain 80,000 people die from diseases related to smoking. Treatment of these illnesses costs the state a decent amount – 2.7 billion pounds a year. Over the past 10 years about a quarter of British smokers quitted smoking under the influence of government anti-smoking campaign. According to the Ministry of Health, 337,000 Britons stopped smoking in 2009.

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