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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.

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Conservative MP hits out against proposed plain cigarette packets

Conservative MP Mark Field Credit: Conservative Party

Conservative MP Mark Field has spoken out against the proposed plans, warning that enforcing plain cigarette packages could infringe fundermaental legal rights and do further damage to the economy.

"The enforced introduction of plain packaging would infringe fundamental legal rights routinely afforded to international business, erode British intellectual property and brand equity and would create a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech.

"I suspect plain packaging will result in other sorts of negative impacts, including the increased health threat posed by counterfeit tobacco, the encouragement of smuggled products and damaging competition.

"Indeed, the Treasury is already losing around £3 billion a year from tobacco that has evaded UK duty; criminal gangs operating a contraband supply chain at the expense of legitimate businesses.

"All of this could result in a potential loss of investment and jobs that goes way beyond the tobacco manufacturing sector."

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