Tobacco companies in the UK want to attack report about health benefits of cigarettes plain packaging. The report is written by chief paediatrician Cyril Chantler and is going to be published this week. It may influence English Government which has all powers to introduce plain packs for cigarettes in order to discourage young people from smoking.
Colorful cigarettes packs are proved to be attractive to youth. 15 months ago Australia introduced olive green packs with large graphic health warnings. It is the first country in the world who introduced plain cigarettes packs.
Tobacco industry representatives are afraid that a similar move in the UK could have negative effects on their business.
The famous manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, Philip Morris International (PMI) claims that the Australian experiment had failed. However, Professor Mike Daube from Curtin University in Perth, told that PMI of uses incomplete and false data. He says that last years tobacco companies are actively lobbying and using media campaign in order to prevent Government from introduction of plain packaging.
According to Deborah Arnott from the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health, today tobacco industry uses front groups, third parties and lobbyists in order to prevent new tobacco regulations. Here the third parties are represented by retailers and business groups which are more vulnerable and therefore much easily influenced. They do carry tobacco’s message in the press.
Tobacco companies claim that introduction of plain packaging will result in increase of illicit cigarettes in Britain and this message was speard via local press. Thus the Telegraph showed its support to the industry.
Forest, created by the tobacco industry, launched a campaign called Hands Off Our Packs in order to gather a number of signatures to be submitted to the consultation.
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