The Government has said that the opinions gathered as part of the consultation, which had more than 668,000 responses, were highly polarised, with strong views put forward on both sides of the debate.
As a result, the Department of Health is waiting until the emerging impact of
Hunt said: "The
"Obviously, we take very seriously the potential for standardised packaging to reduce smoking rates, but in light of the differing views, we have decided to wait until the emerging impact of the decision in
"This decision is an important one and whilst we keep it under review, we’ll be continuing to implement our existing plan to reduce smoking rates through ending the display of tobacco in all shops, running national behaviour-change campaigns to encourage smokers to quit and through supporting local authorities to provide effective stop-smoking services."
Hunt's predecessor Andrew Lansley launched the Government’s consultation into plain packaging in April last year.