11 April 2015

The British Dental Health Foundation is delighted that MPs have voted to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco in England.

In a free vote in Commons 367 MPs voted yes to only 113 no's, a huge majority and a significant step towards vast health improvements in England.

The move will also hopefully bring about improvements in oral health and a reduction in the number of mouth cancer cases, and Ken Lavery, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Trustee of the British Dental Health Foundation, praised the decision.

He said: "I am delighted that standardised packaging will now become law in May next year. We have often criticised the government on its lack of movement on the issue, but this is a real win and one we can be very proud of.

"There was a concern that the government would continue to drag its feet over the decision, but after lobbying the government to review the evidence available common sense has prevailed.

"Smoking can cause a variety of oral health problems including tooth staining, dental plaque, bad breath, tooth loss and gum disease. Of more concern is the significant risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as lung disease and mouth cancer.

"Tobacco remains the largest risk factor for mouth cancer, a disease that has increased dramatically in the last decade. Last numbers show there are more than 6,500 cases and 2,000 deaths each year from the disease. This announcement is a significant and large step in the right direction to start reducing those figures."