The scientific journal Addiction has published a collection of peer-reviewed research papers and commentaries that bring together key parts of the evidence base for standardised packaging of tobacco products from 2008 to 2015.
The English government recently announced that it will be putting regulations on standardised packaging to a vote before the general election in May 2015. If the vote is passed, England will be the second country in the world to mandate standardised packaging, following Australia's example, and there is a strong likelihood that the measure would also be introduced in the other jurisdictions of the United Kingdom.
This collection documents the growing evidence base on the likely effectiveness of standardised packaging in reducing smoking.
Key findings are:
Professor Ann McNeill, who wrote an introduction to the collection, says "Arguably, for an addictive product that kills so many of its users, the tobacco industry should consider itself fortunate that, purely through historical precedent, it is allowed to sell its toxic products at all, let alone try to make them attractive through the packaging. However, it is evidence on the likely public health impact that is the primary basis for the policy on standardised packaging."
Professor Robert West, Editor-in-Chief of Addiction, says "Even if standardised packaging had no effect at all on current smokers and only stopped 1 in 20 young people from being lured into smoking it would save about 2,000 lives each year."
The collection is available from the Wiley Online Library: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291360-0443/homepage/virtual_issues.htm
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