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The Chantler Review findings released

The report on the independent review into standardised packaging of tobacco, undertaken by Sir Cyril Chantler, was published on Thursday 3 April 2014.

Dr Yanzhong Wang and Professor Janet Peacock, both from Division of Health & Social Care Research, were commissioned to provide expert advice to the Review, an independent review into the public health effects of standardised packaging of tobacco.

They focused on analysis and assessment of the quantitative studies found in the Stirling Systematic Review, a 2011 review led by researchers at the University of Stirling, which examined the proposed benefits of standardised packaging, and subsequent research update, which were at the centre of the debate.

Dr Wang said: 'The statistics review is part of the overall review of the effects of plain packaging on public health. The aim of the statistics review was to examine the quantitative sections of each of the original systematic reviews completed by the Stirling group to enable us to form an opinion as to whether the conclusions drawn by the Stirling authors were robust.'

Professor Peacock said: 'In our opinion, the Stirling reviews were conducted to a high standard according to recognised best practice and the conclusions that were drawn are a reasonable reflection of the evidence available. The work was robust and notable for the consistency of its findings.'

Speaking in the commons, Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health said that the report found it was 'very likely to have a positive impact' on public health. The Government will shortly publish draft regulations, alongside a short, final consultation on the policy.

Details of the Chantler Review can be found on the Health Schools webpages