Newsagent backs cigarette packaging campaign

A newsagent from Tyneside has lent his support to a making packets of cigarettes plain.

The ‘Plain Packs Protect’ campaign is pushing for cigarettes to be sold in standardised packaging and is backed by organisations including FRESH and the British Heart Foundation.

But Tim Marron, from the Tobacco Retailers Association, who owns four shops in Newcastle, does not agree with the idea.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the pirates as it will make it far easier to copy cigarettes and people could be buying 20 sticks of anything. So that's a reason not to do it.

I also think if children want to smoke they will smoke. Plain packets won't make any difference.

– Tim Marron, Newcastle retailer

John McClurey has run a newsagent in Newcastle for 30 years and says the introduction of plain packets will reduce the appeal of eye-catching brands.

Currently if a child sees a packet of cigarettes behind a shop counter or in someone’s hand, they see bright innocent colours, glamorous designs and distinctive holograms – all of which appeal to children to make them think that smoking is a normal or cool thing to do.

– John McClurey, Newsagent.