Public Health Minister Jane Ellison MP has been awarded the World Health Organisation Director-General Special Award ahead of World No Tobacco Day (Tuesday 31 May). The award recognises her efforts in overseeing the introduction of plain, standardised ‘plain’ tobacco packaging and her ongoing commitment to tobacco control.
Friday 20 May 2016 marked the beginning of the end for brightly coloured and slickly designed tobacco packaging in the UK as legislation took effect to phase out current packaging.
All tobacco products must now be produced in plain, standardised packs with large picture health warnings. Shops and retailers have 12 months to sell existing packets.
The United Kingdom and France joined Australia as the first countries in the world to introduce similar laws. Australia’s legislation took effect in December 2012.
For this year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign, the WHO is calling on all countries to get ready for plain standardised packaging of tobacco products.
Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Plain, standardised packaging to protect children from tobacco marketing is a monumental victory for public health and this international recognition from the World Health Organisation is well deserved. Cancer Research UK nominated Jane Ellison for her personal determination and spirit in fighting the vested interests of the tobacco industry and making the UK the second country in the world to introduce this legislation which will save thousands of lives. We look forward to other countries following suit and future generations being spared the devastation caused by tobacco.”
Full press release at www.cancerresearchuk.org