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Standardised packaging of tobacco: submission to the Chantler review

PHE has made a submission to the independent review into standardised packaging of tobacco products being led by Sir Cyril Chantler.


PHE believes there is substantial and compelling evidence to support the introduction of standardised packaging as an effective measure to tackle the serious public health problem of smoking. Read PHE’s response to the independent review.

There is strong evidence from recent literature reviews that standardised packaging reduces the attractiveness of cigarette packaging, increases the salience of health messages and increases people’s intention to quit. This is particularly important when considering that most smokers take up smoking as children and become addicted to nicotine before they are adults. The evidence indicates that young people are markedly affected by standardised cigarette packaging and will be less likely to buy standardised packets of cigarettes.

A recent survey of Directors of Public Health in England conducted by PHE, the Association of Directors of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health showed 100% support for the introduction of standardised packaging. 94% considered that they would contribute to a reduction in health inequalities, particularly in relation to children and young people, and those living in deprived communities and with health needs.

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s Director of Health and Wellbeing said:

With nearly 1 in 5 adults still smoking, most of whom started as children, smoking remains the top cause of premature mortality in England. In tackling this challenge, it is vital to develop strategies based on the evidence of what works. Public Health England is convinced that standardised packaging is a crucial component of our broader efforts to reduce the incidence and prevalence of smoking, improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people, and reduce premature mortality.


  1. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.
  2. The evidence was formally submitted on Friday 10 January 2014.
  3. Read the independent review of standardised packaging for tobacco by Sir Cyril Chantler. Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

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Published 13 January 2014