Hands off Our Packs

The UK Department of Health (DoH) has today published its ‘Consultation on standardised packaging of tobacco products’ which will close on 10 July 2012. The consultation will ask individuals whether they think standardised packaging will have an impact on people’s health and reduce the uptake of smoking.

In the latest press release from the Department of Health, the Minister is quoted as saying, “Through this consultation we want to hear as many views as possible about whether tobacco packing should remain unchanged, plain packaging should be adopted or a different option should be considered.”
Quotes from Media 13 – 15 April 2012

How you can get involved:
Sign up to HOOPS (Hands off Our Packs) campaign www.handsoffourpacks.com and encourage customers, friends and families to show their support by signing the online petition,

These comments appeared across the media over the weekend and are detailed below:


Mark Field, Conservative MP. “Plain packaging will result in other sorts of negative impacts, including the increased health threat posed by counterfeit tobacco, the encouragement of smuggled products and damaging competition. Plain packaging would create a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech”

Ken Clarke, Justice Minister. “The point at which you so police somebody else’s wellbeing that you are prepared to order them and put penalties on them if they won’t stop doing something .  .  . is a step one should take cautiously.”

Opinion leaders

Mark Littlewood, Director-General at the Institute of Economic Affairs. “A more nannying and ill-judged intrusion into our lives is hard to imagine. The keenest enthusiasts for plain packaging will be organised crime networks.”

David Hockney, well known artist with pro-tobacco views. “The anti-tobacco professionals have gone far too far in a country that prides itself on freedoms. Denying cigarette companies the right to decorate their cigarette packets is a draconian measure of which Stalin’s censorship police would have been proud. It suggests that the Government thinks it can control our thoughts and our desires.”
Business Groups:

US Chamber of Commerce. “We believe it is important to make clear our serious concerns with the prospect that the U.K. government may mandate the destruction of an industry’s legitimate trademark protection and branding – rights long protected under law and treaties.”

Andrew Wilson, Director of Policy at the International Chamber of Commerce in the UK (ICC UK), Industry groups. “What might be viewed as a justifiable measure in narrow terms, could set a precedent which would be hugely damaging to global trade. The Government must remain cognisant of this international dimension as it consults with stakeholders in the weeks ahead”.

James Lowman, Chief Executive of the ACS. “This would create further regulatory burdens on thousands of businesses. If every tobacco product looks the same it will be much harder for retailers and their staff to locate products on the shelf. This will slow down service times, affect customer service and make stock management harder.”

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