Standardised packaging of tobacco products

Closed 10 Aug 2012

Opened 16 Apr 2012


We seek feedback on whether there might be public health benefits from the introduction of standardised tobacco packaging in addition to policies currently in place, including legislation ending the permanent display of tobacco products by retailers. We also wish to understand what other effects there may be should standardised tobacco packaging be introduced.

The Government has been asked to provide more time for people to respond to the consultation. The Government has an entirely open mind on standardised packaging and Health Ministers want to maximise the opportunity that people have to provide their views and evidence.

The Government is therefore extending the consultation period for an extra month. The new closing date of the consultation is Friday 10 August 2012.

Why We Are Consulting

The Government has an open mind at this stage about introducing standardised packaging. Through the consultation, we want to understand whether there is evidence to demonstrate that the standardised packaging of tobacco products would have an additional public health benefit, over and above existing tobacco control initiatives. We also wish to understand what other effects there may be should standardised tobacco packaging be introduced.

While ‘plain packaging’ is a term commonly used in connection with policies about regulating tobacco packaging, in practice packs would not actually be plain. For example, they would be required to have coloured picture warnings and brand names would still appear in a standardised form. The term ‘standardised packaging’ is considered to be a more accurate description of the policy concept and, therefore, it is used throughout this consultation document.

The Department of Health has commissioned a systematic review of the evidence on plain tobacco packaging. The review was supported through the Public Health Research Consortium (PHRC), a network of researchers funded by the Department of Health's Policy Research Programme. The report represents the work and views of the authors, not necessarily those of the Department of Health. The Public Health Research Consortium report is available online.

Bydd fersiwn Gymraeg o’r ddogfen ymgynghori ar gael cyn gynted â phosibl ar ôl i’r ymgynghoriad gael ei lansio.

A version of the consultation document in Welsh will be made available as soon as possible after the consultation has been launched.


  • PCT Cluster CEs
  • NHS Trust CEs
  • SHA Cluster CEs
  • Directors of PH
  • Local Authority CEs
  • Businesses
  • Public Health Organisations
  • Academics
  • Members of the Public


  • Physical health
  • Public health
  • Health protection
  • Health improvement
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Well-being
  • Prevention