This paper evaluates the merits of adopting plain packaging for all cigarettes sold in the United Kingdom. The author provides the contextual background of anti-tobacco policies and summarise the prevailing theoretical arguments in favour of similar regulations. Opponents of the policy, however, claim that plain packaging will not only prove to be ineffective in the UK, but that it could also have significant negative ramifications. Evidence from Australia, the only country to have implemented such a policy to date, is ambiguous as to whether plain packaging has had an impact on smoking prevalence. This article argues that although plain packaging might not significantly reduce smoking prevalence, the policy has value in that it is the next step in a series of interventions aiming at reducing it in the long run. Since the UK Government has committed to implementing plain packaging in the near future. This article recommends studying the policy’s impact on young people in order to improve upon the Australian experience and provide evidence for other countries considering similar legislation.
How to Cite:
McDonald, J., 2015. Plain packaging for cigarettes: Evaluating implementation in the UK. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 3(2), pp.96–112.