ASH Wales has welcomed the UK Government's decision to put standard packs back on the political agenda as a "victory for parliament and for public health".

Chief Executive Elen de Lacy said: “This decision is a victory for public health as well as our young people who will be protected from the glossy packaging that has become an increasingly powerful marketing tool for the tobacco industry.

“14,500 children aged between 11 and 15 start smoking each year in Wales and we need to do everything we can to reduce those numbers. Young people we have spoken to have described current cigarette packs as ‘cool’, like perfume boxes, posh tissues and lego. Ugly packaging will give them one less reason to start.

"We understand the need for a review of the evidence to ensure due process is followed but we know the evidence is growing that standardised packaging works, as is being shown in Australia.”

The parliamentary campaign for standardised packaging was led by a cross-party coalition, both in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

A key amendment to the Children and Families Bill on standardised packaging was moved in the House of Lords by Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff (crossbench), Lord Faulkner (Labour), Baroness Tyler (Liberal Democrat), and Lord McColl (Conservative). In the House of Commons, the campaign has been led by MPs including Bob Blackman (Conservative), Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat and former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health), Paul Burstow (Liberal Democrat and current Chair of the APPG), and Kevin Barron (Labour).

The independent review is due to be completed by 2015.

BBC article: Cigarette packaging - Ministers launch fresh review