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UK Government Urged to Ban Display Advertising and Branding on Tobacco Products

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(London, United Kingdom, and New York, United States) – On UK No Smoking Day World Lung Foundation called on the British Government to progress its plans to ban in-store cigarette display advertising and also to ban all branding on cigarette packets, without delay.

A ban on display advertising will force retailers to sell tobacco under the counter and ensuring the use of plain, unbranded packaging will help to make tobacco less attractive to consumers. Implementing these policies in addition to its current tobacco control measures would put the UK at the forefront of the global fight against the tobacco epidemic.

Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer and President of World Lung Foundation, said: “The UK has been one of the leading adopters of tobacco control measures and research has shown a clear positive impact on health outcomes. Now the Coalition Government has an unparalleled opportunity to be among the first to implement a full ban on display advertising and prohibit branding on cigarette packets.”

“Tobacco companies rely strongly on point-of-sale marketing and pack branding to attract and reinforce smokers’ addiction to their deadly products. We encourage the UK Government to resist pressure from the tobacco industry and its supporters and to implement these comprehensive tobacco marketing bans as soon as possible to protect future generations of UK citizens from deadly tobacco use and secondhand cigarette smoke.”

“What’s more, we cannot ignore the potential global benefits of this move. The worldwide toll of tobacco is enormous and continues to grow, especially in the developing world. The British government has an opportunity to establish a gold standard in health policy that, if implemented properly, can save millions of lives at home and abroad.”