The government has announced that it backs the public health case for introducing standardised packaging of tobacco, with MPs set to vote on the issue before the general election. If passed by parliament, regulations could be in force by May 2016. The proposed regulations would standardise the packaging of all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco for retail sale, including mandatory colours of \u2018dull brown\u2019 for outer packaging and white for the inside, with brand and variant name the only permitted text apart from health warnings and marks to tackle illicit trade. The decision was reached after \u2018carefully considering the evidence\u2019 and other relevant information, says the government. Plain packaging was introduced in Australia in 2012, while previous plans to introduce the legislation here were dropped from the 2013 Queen\u2019s Speech at the same time as proposals for minimum unit pricing (DDN, May 2013, page 4). \u2018Having considered all the evidence, the secretary of state and I believe that the policy is a proportionate and justified response to the considerable public health harm from smoking tobacco,\u2019 said public health minister Jane Ellison. \u2018I now propose that we lay regulations for standardised packaging in this parliament to allow for them to come into force at the same time as the European tobacco products directive in May 2016. In doing so we would be bringing the prospect of our first smoke-free generation one step closer.\u2019 The European tobacco products directive will also include a ban on flavourings, including menthol. The move has been welcomed by health bodies, including Cancer Research UK. \u2018By stripping cigarette packs of their marketing features, we can reduce the number of young people lured into an addiction, the products of which are death and disease,\u2019 said the charity\u2019s chief executive Harpal Kumar, while the Faculty of Public Health called it \u2018fantastic news for our children\u2019s health as well as common sense\u2019.