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Commenting on today’s Budget announcement, Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Secretary General of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association…
The Government has published a consultation on the standardised packaging of tobacco products. The consultation will run from 16 April 2012 to 10 July 2012.
Jaine Chisholm Caunt, the secretary-general of the TMA, said: “There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will reduce rates of youth smoking. Smoking initiation in children is actually linked to a complex range of socio-economic factors including home life, peer pressure and truancy and exclusion from school.”
“The focus for Government, and public health policy-makers, should rightly be on reducing youth smoking and therefore on preventing children’s access to cigarettes, not on the appearance of the pack. The TMA, and its member companies, is committed to preventing under 18s from accessing cigarettes and we support a range of youth access prevention measures including Citizencard – the UK’s leading proof-of-age scheme – and the ‘No ID No Sale’ identification checking campaign.”
“We believe the Government should quash the idea of plain packaging which only serves to make counterfeiting cigarettes easier and make stock-taking and serving customers harder for legitimate retailers. To address the real issues and support genuine, tangible measures to combat youth smoking we call on the Government to:
• Support local shopkeepers in their vitally important role as gatekeepers to age-restricted products – and enforce stiff penalties against any retailers caught selling cigarettes to children.
• Ask the Home Office to recognise ‘PASS-hologrammed’ proof of age cards (such as Citizencard) as valid ID – as is the case in Scottish law.
• Clamp down on illicit sales of cigarettes in local communities and make full use of existing penalties.
• Make proxy purchasing of tobacco for under 18s illegal – as it is in Scotland, and as it is for alcohol across the UK.
The link to the consultation can be found here
A copy of the TMA Plain Packaging briefing is available to download here.