One of the things we love about the Lords is that they often exhibit the very traits we associate with The Best Of Britain – cool, calm, considered and cranial, all in the face of immediate pressure. And this update is sure to raise eyebrows, not just in the Family Justice System, but in the world of politics as a whole.
As The Bill continues to be scrutinised, line by line by The Lords, this latest set of amendments being moved by a host of Peers goes right to the heart of the furore over the government’s latest decision to seemingly pander to the tobacco industry by declining a call to make all cigarette packaging plain. Well, it seems the noble lords and ladies of The Chamber, have found a way around that.
The latest set of amendments focus on smoking and ensuring that its effects do not affect children, both in the long and the short-term.
Lord Faulkner, Baroness Tyler, Baroness Finlay and Lord McColl want to insert a clause which would allow The Secretary of State to make decisions about the packaging of tobacco, in the interests of preventing harm to or protecting the health of children. The amendment goes even further; we add it below, because it’s smoking hot…. (let’s see if the national media get hold of this before lunch time):
After Clause 88
Insert the following new Clause—
“Children’s health: standardised tobacco packaging
(1) The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 is amended as follows.
(2) After section 12 (television and radio broadcasting) insert—
“12A Children’s health: standardised packaging
(1) The Secretary of State may, if satisfied that doing so is in the
interests of preventing harm to the health of children under the age
of 18 or of promoting the health of children under the age of 18,
make regulations specifying retail tobacco packaging requirements.
(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may provide that retail
packaging or tobacco products of any such description, or falling
within any such class as may be specified in the regulations, shall
not, except in such circumstances as may be so specified, be of any
such colour or shape, or display any such mark or trade mark, or
any other particulars as may be so specified.
(3) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(a) in the course of a business he or she owns or manages retail
or commercial premises or a leisure facility; and
(b) he or she sells or supplies products which might reasonably
be expected to attract, or be aimed at, children under the age
of 18; and
(c) he or she sells or supplies, or has in the premises or facility
for sale or supply, any tobacco product; and
(d) the retail packaging of the tobacco product does not comply
with a specified retail tobacco packaging requirement.
(4) In this section—
“container” includes any pack, carton, box, tin, packet, bag,
pouch, tube or other container;
“retail packaging” means—
(a) any container for retail sale in which a tobacco product is
directly placed; or
(b) any container for retail sale that contains a smaller container
in which a tobacco product is directly placed; or
(c) any cigarette paper in which tobacco is contained and
anything else forming part of a cigarette other than the
(d) any plastic or other wrapper that covers any retail
packaging of the type described in paragraph (a) to (c); or
(e) any plastic or other wrapper that covers a tobacco product,
being a tobacco product that is for retail sale; or
(f) anything (other than a tobacco product) that is placed inside
or is affixed or otherwise attached to retail packaging of the
type described in paragraphs (a) to (e) but does not include
the lining of a cigarette pack if the lining complies with retail
a “retail tobacco packaging requirement” is a requirement
relating to any of the following particulars—
(a) the colour of retail packaging;
(b) the shape and material of retail packaging;
(c) distinctive marks displayed on retail packaging;
(d) trade marks or registered trade marks displayed on retail
(e) the labelling of or on packages, packaging or tobacco
products, or associated with retail packaging or tobacco
(f) the contents of retail packaging (including the shape and
size of tobacco products);
(g) any covert or overt markings, coded numbering or any
other security features on retail packaging or tobacco
(h) any other particulars relating to retail packaging or tobacco
products as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State;
a “specified retail packaging requirement” is a retail tobacco
packaging requirement specified in regulations made under
“trade mark” and “registered trade mark” have the same
meaning as in section 1 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.””
But that’s not all…
Baroness Finlay and Lord Faulkner wish to address the issue of adults who smoke in cars when children are present, which is bound to be met with some friction, and Lord Lester wants to ensure that the Children’s Commissioner is backed up with resources and parliamentary clout, should they need it.
We love what these Lords are doing. Despite the fact that we may not necessarily feel that affecting the packaging of cigarettes will protect the next generation, it is nevertheless, a brave move and one we will be watching, with interest.
Stick that in your pipe, and smoke it.