It’s often-stated folk wisdom that if cigarettes had been invented today, they’d be banned. Many in the tobacco control field quietly believe that the right response to tobacco would be prohibition, but wistfully concede that it just isn’t practical given the size of the legal market.

In politics, U-turns are typically seen as a sign of weakness or failure, but the UK government today performed one U-turn that is most definitely welcome: it reversed its position on plain packaging for cigarettes. The Transform blog takes a look at the evidence supporting this measure and debunks some of the arguments against it.