Doctors vs Government in fag packaging row
Public health experts have advised the government to pull their finger out over plain cigarette packaging, because they think that getting rid of branded packaging would have a positive effect on the nation’s health.
Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, who may or may not have been smoking a Marlboro Light at the time, said that she would bring forward draft regulations by the end of April, but two months have now passed and she’s done bugger all.
A letter to the British Medical Journal, signed by 600 doctors and health professionals, asked the government to confirm that the new regulations be published in the next two weeks.
Plain packaging on cigarettes doesn’t exactly mean that they’ll be sold in brown paper bags. Instead of nice curly fonts saying things like ‘Chesterfield’ and ‘Marlboro’, there will be a picture of a withered lung or an amputated stump, with the words ‘DON’T SMOKE OR YOU’LL DIE’ (or similar).
There has already been a public consultation on plain packaging, but things were delayed to gather evidence from Australia, which introduced packets with health warnings on them in 2012.
Labour says that the letter was ‘an extraordinary step for hundreds of concerned health professionals to take.’
Meanwhile, the Department of Health say they’re on it - they just need to do one more public consultation – and finish this lovely fag.