Around 18% of all UK deaths are attributable to smoking and around 1 in 5 Britons is currently a smoker. Any measure which is effective at reducing smoking prevalence may thus have significant implications for future mortality rates in the UK.
One such possible future step is the introduction of plain cigarette packaging. This is widely expected in the UK over the relatively short term following an independent report which found that similar legislation in Australia has had a positive impact.
Update: January 2015 - Legislation brought forward.
MPs in the House of Commons are now set to vote on this issue before the May 2015 General Election with introduction in England tabled for May 2016.
Update: March 2015 - Legislation approved.
MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour (367 - 113) of the introduction of standardised packaging from May 2016.