War on smoking moves up a pace with plain packaging order

Additional measures aimed at reducing the number of people who die each year with smoking-related diseases is being welcomed.

The UK Government this week approved measures that would see tobacco products sold in plain packaging.

As a result all cigarette packaging sold from 2016 will look identical bar the make and brand name. In a vote at the House of Commons only 113 voted against the measure while 367 voted in favour.

The MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, welcomed the measure which followed calls by the Scottish Government for standardised packaging. It has already been agreed at the Scottish Parliament that if the measure was approved at Westminster it would be applied in Scotland.

Mr Stevenson said: “I very much support this measure which I believe will greatly decrease the appeal of tobacco products, particularly among young people.

“I fully support the Scottish Government’s aim to create a tobacco-free generation in Scotland by 2034, and this is one of the things that can be done to make this happen.

“Every year tobacco kills more than 13,000 people a year in Scotland, and costs our NHS around £500 million a year. By discouraging young people from taking up the habit in the first place we can start to reduce the cost this product inflicts on families and communities across Scotland.”

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