A law planning to introduce plain packaging for all cigarette sold in England is set to be voted on by MP’s before the upcoming general elections in May. The move has been made following a series of consultations regarding health. Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison, spoke about the impact such a change would have on health, particularly that of children, while doctors have backed the initiative claiming it could save thousands of lives. 

However, such a change will not be easy to pass, in fact, Ellison was quick to highlight that the cigarette industry strongly opposes the move and could challenge it through legal channels if necessary.

The move comes following and review by Sir Cyril Chantler, which investigated the implications of standardised packaging. It concluded that such a law would lead to a modest but important reduction in the uptake and prevalence of smoking.

Opinions in the UK government have differed on the subject. Shadow health minister Luciana Berger was positive towards such a change, as she stressed that not having any sort of branding on packets would reduce the “glitzy appeal of smoking”. However, UKIP leader, Nigel Farage strongly opposes the idea and made his views known in a tweet that read: “Plain packaging is an appalling intrusion into consumer choice. […] Jobs and tax revenue would suffer.”