The Government has finally published draft regulations on plain packaging of tobacco and announced a final consultation with a closing date of August 7, 2014.
The Guardian has the story here: Government urged to introduce plain cigarette packaging by health charities. It includes a quote from Forest.
Yesterday Simon Clark, director of Forest which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, said:
"Plain packaging is another step towards the infantilisation of Britain.
"If the consultation is to have any meaning ministers must keep an open mind. The impact of plain packaging on retailers and consumers could be extremely damaging.
"Evidence suggests that standardised packaging could lead to the UK being flooded with fake cigarettes.
"A decision to introduce plain packaging must be based on hard evidence that the policy will stop children smoking. Conjecture and subjective opinion are not enough when the risks are so high."
Clark said government should also take into account a previous consultation that attracted over 650,000 responses, with over 425,000 people opposed to plain packaging and 238,000 in favour.
He added: "In recent weeks thousands of people have signed a letter to the prime minister urging him to say no to plain packaging.
"The government must take into account the strongly held views of ordinary consumers."
No, prime minister
Clark urged consumers and retailers to support Forest's No, Prime Minister initiative.
"Via our microsite you can write direct to Downing Street and register your opposition to plain packaging. It takes no more than a minute of your time.
"PLEASE ACT NOW."