I welcome this week’s vote in favour of standardised packaging of tobacco. It is a fantastic victory for children’s health and experts say it will make children less likely to take up smoking, and so will ultimately save lives.
This measure is endorsed by health experts and has the overwhelming support of the public and Parliament. It’s a shame that it has taken years of delays, prevarication and squabbling amongst Tory MPs for us to reach this point.
David Cameron has been reluctant to stand up to big tobacco firms and their lobbyists, and has failed to show leadership on this issue. In the time that has passed since Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of this over a year ago, experts say over 200,000 children would have taken up smoking.
One child taking up smoking is one too many.
Labour wants the next generation to be the first that is smoke-free. The Government must now press ahead without delay to ensure that glitzy packaging for cigarettes becomes a thing of the past.