Cigarette packaging claims are a smokescreen

From: Michael Ridgway, Ghyll Wood, Ilkley.

I WRITE in response to the article relating to women and smoking (Yorkshire Post, October 26). The arguments against smoking are well known and represent serious hazards to health.

The statement recorded in the piece by Cancer Research relating to plain packaging cannot be substantiated.

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The most effective way to stop smoking is not to start and this in relation to young people is to have more effective education in their early years and law enforcement operating in a way that would make the purchasing of tobacco for minors illegal which it is not currently in England. This type of “proxy purchasing” should be outlawed as a first step.

There is no evidence that packaging has any influence on purchasing decisions of tobacco products and even in Australia where it is being introduced, there is no evidence that it affects purchasing trends. It is clearly incorrect to state that packs are designed to look like perfume bottles! Which perfume or cosmetic product contains graphical or health warnings? It is derogatory and an affront to women to assume that they will be influenced by such statements.

The introduction of plain packing would open the market up to increased counterfeit products; reduced Government venues; tie-up the police and law enforcement agencies with extra work and most significantly via unregulated supply chains allow children and young people access to tobacco products.

The consequences on the packaging manufacturing industry would be very damaging, especially to a number of companies in Yorkshire and the many thousands of people employed within the packaging manufacturing sector across
the UK.