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Rousing start to Forest's anti-plain packaging campaign

Tue 28th February, 2012

Forest's Hands Off Our Packs campaign got off to a rousing start in London last night.

Angela Harbutt, who is leading the Forest-managed campaign aimed at countering attempts at importing 'plain packaging' legislation from Australia to the UK, told an audience of about 150 people that she believed the proposal was the most ill-conceived, idiotic and illiberal idea that had come out of any UK government during the past five or 10 years.

She said that it was a fight that had to be won, and she asked those present to sign up to the campaign and to spread the word.

The campaign's website is at; there is a Hands Off Our Packs Facebook page, and the campaign can be followed on Twitter at @NoToPlainPacks.

The launch was addressed also by Christopher Snowdon, the author of Plain packaging: Commercial expression, anti-smoking extremism and the risks of hyper-regulation, which was published recently by the Adam Smith Institute.

Snowdon described the plain packaging proposal as one that even among the "intensive care contingent" of the anti-smoking movement was thought to be unmentionable five years ago.

Finally Mark Littlewood, the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, reminded the UK's top politicians of their commitments to reducing the burden of unnecessary regulations.

He told an appreciative audience that, in the early days of the present coalition, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, had launched his Your Freedom website and encouraged people to have their say. "You can sure count on that Nick..." Littlewood said.

And he said that David Cameron, the prime minister, could make a start to his commitment to tackle regulation with vigor by calling a halt to bringing in any more pointless, ludicrous, expensive and nannying rules.

Source: Tobacco Reporter (28 February 2012)

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