Opposition to standardised packaging in the UK: Who, what, when and how?

Jennifer Hatchard, Gary Fooks, Anna Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Standardised packaging of tobacco products attracted vehement opposition from diverse business and civil society organisations in the UK. Now the policy is set for implementation in 2016, this paper examines the sector of opposition organisations, their links with transnational tobacco companies and maps their opposition activities across the policy timeline from 2011-2013.

Based on mixed methods analysis of contemporary documents gathered from online sources and freedom of information requests, the findings illustrate the high degree to which tobacco companies precipitated, were involved in and supported third party opposition activities.

71% (81/114) of non-manufacturing organisations opposing standardised packaging were financially linked with one or more transnational tobacco company. Four main types of political activity were identified from the data: production of research, communication of arguments, mass recruitment, and lobbying of policymakers. In each case, the timing of activities was closely linked to the policy process.

The research exposes how tobacco companies use subsidies to build constituencies which help them oppose tobacco control policies. Key questions are raised regarding a deficit in the transparency of tobacco company engagement with third party organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015
EventASH Scotland Conference 2015 - Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


ConferenceASH Scotland Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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