Scotland Introduces Plain Packaging for Tobacco, Cigarettes

The country is using standardized packaging as a way to become tobacco-free by 2034

EDINBOROUGH – The Scottish government has an ambitious plan to become a tobacco-free country within 21 years, starting with the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco and cigarettes, the Scotsman reports. Other parts of the plan include educational, antismoking programs for youth.

The government said a tobacco-free country by 2034 would mean less than 5% of the population were smokers. The pledge makes Scotland the third country — after New Zealand and Finland — to make such a promise.

The government is waiting for word from the United Kingdom, which is looking into plain packaging that features only the brand name and health warnings on the products. The new strategy said that, “following careful consideration of the consultation responses and the available evidence, the Scottish Government has come to the view that standardized packaging has a key role to play in achieving our vision of a tobacco-free generation.”

Seven years ago, Scotland banned smoking in public places. “Our vision of a tobacco-free generation is about reaping the health, social and economic benefits that a significant reduction in smoking would bring — it would be an achievement of which we could all be proud,” said Public Health Michael Matheson.

The plan sets goals of having smoking reduced to 17% by 2016, 12% by 2021 and 9% by 2026. However, the agenda has no additional funds to make the goals happen, with the health ministry having to make do with the same tobacco control budget amount for the coming five years.

Scotland Introduces Plain Packaging for Tobacco, Cigarettes


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