University of Bath

Evidence-based policymaking & ‘Better Regulation’: standardised packaging of tobacco

An IPR Policy Brief that reviews Evidence-based policy making and ‘Better Regulation’: The battleground for standardised packaging of tobacco.

Previous research concluded that transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) advocated the introduction of ‘Better Regulation’, anticipating that it would make it harder for governments to enact public health policies. This research explores how TTCs used the public consultation & impact assessment required by ‘Better Regulation’ to oppose standardised packaging of tobacco products in the UK.

Tobacco smoking kills one in two long-term users, & 207,000 children are estimated to take up smoking each year. Standardised packaging aims to reduce the impact of smoking on health. A large body of peer-reviewed research shows that this measure is likely to both reduce the appeal of cigarettes among young people & increase the effectiveness of health warnings, thereby contributing to reducing smoking rates.

The research critically examines the techniques they use to misrepresent evidence supporting standardised packaging & the quality of their data on the illicit tobacco trade.