UK - House of Lords -debate on tobacco plain packaging..

May 12, 2009 - This news brief provides information on the result of the vote on May 6. 2009 by members of the House of Lords on an amendment, tabled by Lord Naren Patel, to the 2009 Health Bill to mandate plain packaging for all tobacco products.

Lord Patel his amendment related to the plain packaging of tobacco products - March 11, 2009.

From ASH (Action on Smoking and Health)- United Kingdom (UK, Britain): Lord Patel raised the issue and it was debated briefly but not put to a vote. However, the Government has agreed to review the evidence on plain packaging as part of its new tobacco control strategy which is expected within the next few months.

House of Lords debate on plain packaging of tobacco products - May 6, 2009 on Tobacco proposals in the health bill. Here are a couple of excerpts from the debate that emphasize the importance of the packaging to tobacco makers. The Tobacco Journal International in its fourth issue of 2008 wrote: “An increasing focus has been put on the ever more elaborate design of cigarette boxes. Exclusive packaging is an instrument to communicate brand image and differentiate premium, high-priced brands from value cigarettes; while the cost of production is roughly the same for both and, according to analysts, the difference in quality is barely perceptible, the profit margin of premium brands is considerably higher than that of low-priced cigarettes.” There are a number of examples of tobacco companies that have chosen to introduce new brands in a way that appeals to particular markets. Camel Natural Flavour is a youth-oriented brand variant which was launched in 2007. In speaking to the trade press, Gallaher’s communications manager said: “Camel is the smoking style statement for young adult smokers.” A new range of Silk Cut cigarettes is, “aimed at females and will initially feature a limited edition to make it stand out on the shelf.” (Silk Cut is the brand of low tar cigarette produced by the Gallaher Group (owned by Japan Tobacco). The packaging is characterised by a distinctive stark white packet with the brand name in either a purple, blue, silver, white or green square.)

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