Commenting on HM Government’s confirmation today that a consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco products is likely to be launched next week SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“Given that both London and Edinburgh have passed legislation which bans the display of tobacco products in our stores, and at significant cost to the retailer, a proposal for plain packaging is an absurd example of over regulation.
“The fact is, there was no robust evidence base for the tobacco display ban yet it is the same flimsy arguments which are being propagated to justify a ban on plain packaging.
“This proposal does more to grandstand for the benefit of the health lobby than actually reduce the prevalence of smoking all the while increasing the operational time and costs to retailers.
“Plain packing is also a smugglers charter which will drive smokers out of highly regulated and legitimate retail premises and into the arms of the illicit trade which will not only hit our pockets but that of the exchequer too.”