Packet in: plain packs will cut smoking claims Ash

Plain-cigarette

​Ash dismisses criticism as plain packaging legislation announced 

22nd January 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A leading health charity has rejected claims the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes won’t cut smoking.

Ash Scotland welcomed the Westminster and Scottish Government commitments to introduce plain, standardised tobacco packaging, saying the “glamourisation” of cigarettes was a factor in getting people hooked.

The UK government announced it will bring forward plain pack legislation at Westminster before the General Election while Scotland’s public health minister Maureen Watt confirmed the Scottish Government’s long-standing commitment to introduce the measure in Scotland.

Ash Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “The introduction of standardised packaging will help Scotland achieve our aim of a tobacco-free generation by 2034. Glamorous packaging is one of the last bastions of advertising for a vile industry whose profits depend on hooking in the next generation. 

Big tobacco has failed in its campaign to stop standardised packs

“Now that big tobacco has failed in its campaign to stop standardised packs, we are seeing the continuation of misleading claims by the industry and its supporters.

“Critics parrot dubious tobacco industry-funded research on plain packs in Australia that purports to show the measure has led to a rise in illicit tobacco and has not affected smoking trends."

Ash said Australian government figures actually prove illicit products have not increased and the latest evidence from HMRC in the UK concludes the move will have no impact on the level of counterfeit products.

“In Australia, the number of cigarettes bought per person has fallen," said Duffy. "Consumption of tobacco in the first quarter of 2014 was the lowest ever, and a national survey for 2013/14 showed that the proportion of daily smokers aged 14 or older in dropped from 16.6% in 2007 to 12.8% in 2013."

A new Cancer Research UK survey shows nearly three-quarters (72%) of UK voters across the political spectrum said they supported the move and only 15% were opposed.