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Government postpones standardised cigarette packaging

The UK government has moved to postpone a system of standardised packaging for the UK’s cigarette industry in order to spend more time analysing the impact the move has had in Australia.

Intended to deter young people from picking up the habit by making smoking less attractive the scheme has run into trouble after Downing Street balked at the possible economic impact.

Australian cigarettes are now packaged in olive green packets with no logos and carry graphic depictions of smoking related ailments. It was the first country in the world to try the idea when it launched in December 2012.

Commenting on the delay a Department of Health spokesperson said: “This is an important decision and we make no apology for taking time to get it right."

The decision has been criticised by Cancer Research UK chief Harpal Kumar however, who said: “The government had a choice: protect children from an addiction that kills 100,000 people in the UK every year or protect tobacco industry profits.

"We believe it has made the wrong choice."

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