Government denies scrapping plan for plain tobacco packs

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

The Department of Health has denied reports that the government is to scrap plans to force tobacco into plain packs.

Today The Sun claimed prime minister David Cameron had ordered the proposed law to be pulled from next week’s Queen’s Speech amid fears the policy could cost the exchequer £3bn in lost tax revenue as well as damaging the packaging industry.

Reports suggest the government wants to focus its efforts on legislation around promoting growth, welfare reform and immigration.

However a DH spokeswoman told The Grocer that a decision on plain packs had not yet been made.

“We have received many thousands of responses to the tobacco packaging consultation,” she said.

“The government has an open mind on this issue”


“The government has an open mind on this issue and any decisions to take further action will be taken only after full consideration of the consultation responses, evidence and other relevant information.”

However campaigners against the measure welcomed the reports.

“We welcome the news, if it’s true. Plain packaging has nothing to do with health. There is no evidence that it would make any difference to youth smoking rates but it could do enormous harm to small businesses, especially in packaging and retail,” said Simon Clark, director of smokers group Forest.

“We’re pleased that the prime minister has apparently recognised this and has listened to the hundreds of thousands of people who expressed their opposition to standardised packaging in the government consultation.”

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up


I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer



CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.


The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers