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Government omits compulsary plain tobacco packaging from Queen's Speech

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The government is still considering banning company branding on cigarette packets even though it omitted proposals from the Queen's Speech last Wednesday.

The Queen made no reference to the plans to force cigarette makers to use plain packaging, during the state opening of Parliament when she gave a speech setting out the government's legislative. But prime minister David Cameron told parliament that the government was still looking at the issue.

The DH held four months of consultations last year to gather evidence on whether standardised tobacco packaging would discourage young smokers and help existing smokers ditch the habit.

But the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (CPHVA) has warned thousands of children's lives will be put at risk if the government backs down on plans to introduce standardised cigarette packaging.

Ros Godson professional officer for the CPHVA, which represents health visitors and school nurses, said: 'If ministers walk away from this issue - when Cancer Research UK evidence shows that 570 children in the UK take up smoking every day - they will have failed this and the next generation of young people.

'Thousands of children's lives will be put at risk - and the scarce resources of the NHS will be stretched even further.

'Research has shown that standardised packaging does not put in jeopardy the jobs of those working in the tobacco industry - but it can actively deter young people taking up this dangerous pastime.'

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