News & Comment

Forest urges Government to keep an "open mind" on plain packaging

Thu 3rd April, 2014

Forest has urged the government to keep an "open mind" on plain packaging legislation following an announcement by public health minister Jane Ellison.

According to Ellison the government is currently minded to proceed with plain packaging but will conduct a final short consultation.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, said:

"It makes sense for the government to take its time and consult further but it seems perverse to commit to a policy before those discussions have taken place.

"If further consultation is to have any meaning the government must keep an open mind.

"The final decision on standardised packaging must be based on hard evidence that it stops children smoking. Conjecture and subjective opinion are not enough."

Clark urged the government not to forget the outcome of the public consultation on plain packaging.

"A four-month consultation resulted in over 665,000 responses, two thirds of them opposed to plain packaging.

"We urge government not to ignore those responses which were submitted in good faith.

"Failure to take into account the result of a public consultation would leave a very bad taste and could alienate a large number of voters, many of whom could be driven to vote for Ukip in protest."

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