Cigarette branding rules would be a 'danger to free speech'

As the row rumbles on over whether tobacco should be sold without branding, a survey has found that more than half of people would be in favour of cigarette packs without any branding.

Among the critics of packaging proposals is Conservative MP Mark Field who warns it would create "a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech" and encourage smuggling.

Anti-smoking group ASH has hit back:

The argument used by 'big tobacco' and its supporters that this would lead to an increase in smuggling is laughable.

It's already so easy to copy packaging that it's only through covert markings that enforcement officers can tell the difference between authentic and counterfeit cigarette packs.

We need to make smoking history for our children and getting rid of the glitzy packaging is the essential next step if we are to succeed.

– Ash chief executive Deborah Arnott

Advertisement

Move to ban cigarette branding

The Government will pave the way for cigarette packets to be stripped of all branding, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said.