The Department of health has ruled out pursuing plans for plain packaging for alcohol, quashing fears that drinks would face the same treatment being considered for cigarettes.

In its official response to the ongoing Health Committee inquiry into the government’s alcohol strategy, which mooted the idea, the department told MPs there was no evidence to prove it would be effective or proportionate.

The DH said bodies such as Ofcom and the ASA already had effective policies in place to police alcohol marketing. “Plain packaging is not an intervention widely used for alcohol and we are not aware of any research on this,” it wrote.

“We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the UK’s advertising and marketing regulatory regimes to ensure the rules implemented by the regulators continue to be based on best evidence and sufficient to protect the public.”