Wales might go for independent position on standardized tobacco packs

| August 8, 2013

Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford is looking into whether Wales could go it alone on public health issues such as standardized tobacco packaging and minimum alcohol pricing, according to a story on WalesOnline.

Drakeford, a professor, said he had instructed officials to look at the powers Wales had in relation to these two measures after the U.K. government recently backed away from them.

Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Lewis, Welsh secretary of the British Medical Association, was quoted as saying that the Scottish government had signaled its intention to legislate for standardized packaging. “Perhaps the Welsh government could follow their lead,” he said.

But both Drakeford and Lewis would like the U.K. government reconsider its position.

“I was very disappointed that, on a U.K. level, plans which we thought were coming along have not been included in the U.K. government’s program,” Drakeford said.

“I still think that moving together is the best way to deal with some of these big public health issues. But I have asked my officials and the chief medical officer to give me advice on what our powers are and if it is possible for us to move ahead with that.

“I do not align myself with the anxieties of those who accuse governments of being a nanny state. There are larger public interest issues at stake.”

Category: Breaking News

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