The official website for the States of Guernsey

Today

St Peter Port & St Sampson
Blue Bag
Clear Bag
Food Waste
Black Bag
Glass Bag

All Other Parishes
Blue Bag
Clear Bag
Food Waste
Black Bag
Glass Bag
More Information
weather iconSunny, then fine overnight.
High20°CLow13°C
5 day forecastTide timetables
weather iconSunny, then fine overnight.
High20°CLow13°C
5 day forecastTide timetables
Sign In

Introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes in Guernsey - media enquiry

Share this page

Friday 29 November 2013

Media response to the Guernsey Press

Guernsey Press, Nicola Gibbons enquiry:

I am putting together a follow-up with regards to the national news that cigarettes will be sold in plain packaging by May 2015.

Would it be possible to get comments from HSSD to the following questions about it:

I know the issue of plain packaging has been raised in Guernsey before, but what is the current position of the department with regards to this matter?

Does it have plans to introduce a similar measure, if so why?

What are the benefits of having plain packaging?

Health and Social Services Department response:

What is the current position of the department with regards to this matter?

Smoking remains a major cause of ill health and preventable premature death in Guernsey and Alderney, and we want to ensure the young people of Alderney and Guernsey will be able to grow up in a Smokefree Environment. HSSD welcomes the news that the UK government is looking again at moving towards plain or standardised packaging of cigarettes. The review of the pilot scheme in Australia and the decision the UK makes will certainly inform the development of the new Guernsey Tobacco Control Strategy.

What are the benefits of having plain packaging?

Research shows that most smokers in Guernsey started to smoke at a young age, and there is solid evidence that shows plain packaging as likely to reduce the uptake of smoking in young people. They see cigarettes in plain packs as less attractive, less palatable, less satisfying and of lower quality compared to cigarettes in current packaging. Early research in Australia shows that smokers felt less satisfied when their tobacco came in plain packs compared with branded pack smokers: smokers using plain packs were 66% more likely to think their cigarettes were poorer quality than a year ago and they were 70% more likely to say they found them less satisfying. They were also 81% more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day during the previous week.

Does HSSD have plans to introduce a similar measure, if so why?

In 2012 HSSD engaged with the public on a proposed scope for the new Tobacco Control Strategy and two proposals for consideration were:

The introduction of plain or standardised packaging would contribute to both these aims. Responses to our engagement exercise showed that people wanted us to go for recommendations that were supported by robust evidence, and also wanted us to look at the success of initiatives in other, similar jurisdictions.

Also on the basis of these responses from the public, our emerging Tobacco Control strategy for Guernsey has always intended to monitor the progress of other initiatives which are being implemented in other jurisdictions, for example, the introduction of plain packaging in Australia a year ago.

We welcome the news that this public health review will be carried out at such a high level; we will be able to use it to inform our decision-making in Guernsey. It is important that any policy that is adopted is right for Guernsey, for our population's health, and for the public who will be affected. We are aware that, even if an initiative is evidence-based to reduce the number of people who smoke, structural restrictions, or the availability of supply may stop us from doing it. Where this is the case, we would work with other jurisdictions to lobby for the tackling of those structural restrictions across international boundaries, and then consider the appropriateness for Guernsey.

We wait with keen interest to see the outcome of the UK review. If the UK moves to restrict the sale of cigarettes to those with plain or standardised packaging then it will certainly be something that is considered carefully by the Department as a recommendation in the new Tobacco Control Strategy, alongside further consultation as an essential part of the process in relation to developments in this area.

Share this page

Add To Home

To add this page to the homescreen of your phone, go to the menu button and "Add to homescreen".


The menu button may look like
Three Dots or Box with an Arrow *some browsers' menu buttons may vary.