Bbc news – government to move ahead with standardised cigarette packets

She denied the government was dragging its heels, saying the final legislation had to be “robust” and part of broader efforts to combat smoking and all “stakeholders” had to have their say.

But she said the government’s intention was “clear” and she promised changes before the next election in May 2015, although MPs would be given a vote on the proposals before they came into force.

A succession of Conservative backbenchers attacked the plan, saying it was an example of the “nanny state” and that there were enough warnings about the dangers of smoking already.

Robert Halfon, who successfully campaigned for a cut in bingo tax, said “Conservatives believe in freedom and the best way to stop people smoking is through education and not by banning things.”

Print workers

He said there would be a “huge impact on small shops and small businesses” if standardised packaging went ahead.

Jacob Rees Mogg said Sir Cyril’s report had found it was too early to draw any any firm conclusions from the Australian legislation and said the findings were “indirect and speculative”.

“As the government may be taking away a freedom from the British people oughtn’t it to be more certain of its ground?” he asked.

Dame Angela Watkinson said “Nobody in this country smokes in ignorance and people who do so do it as a deliberate choice.”

Public health minister Jane Ellison said MPs would get a vote on the issue Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford backed a ban

Labour MP Diana Johnson said Dame Angela had accepted a gift from Japan Tobacco, makers of Benson and Hedges cigarettes. The register of members’ interests shows the Hornchurch MP accepted hospitality and two tickets to last year’s Chelsea Flower show, worth 1,260.

Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford, a dentist, backed the ban, telling those protesting against it “If I could arrange for them to come into an operating theatre to see the damage that oral cancer does to people they might actually change their mind.”

Most Labour MPs who spoke supported legislation but Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe warned about the impact on print workers in his constituency if branding was removed from cigarette packets.

The British Medical Association welcomed the minister’s statement but said there should be no further delays to legislation.

Dr Ram Moorthy, deputy chair of the BMA’s Board of Science, said “As doctors we see first hand every day the devastating effects of tobacco addiction and we call on the government to make a decision quickly and to introduce standardised packaging at the earliest possible opportunity in order to help put an end to a life long addiction that kills and destroys health.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said “The Welsh Government has long been a proponent of standardised packaging of tobacco products and we recognise that has the potential to be an important tool in our bid to reduce the harm from tobacco related illness.

“We are therefore delighted with today’s announcement that the UK government will go ahead with standardised packaging. This will also apply to Wales, following a short consultation on draft regulations.”

R. j. reynolds tobacco company – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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