09 Mar TMA responds to Government’s Tobacco Control Plan
Christopher Ogden, Chief Executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA), commented:
“On behalf of retailers, the TMA is pleased that the Government has decided to delay the implementation of the display ban. However, the coalition parties were opposed to the ban before the general election in 2010 and we hope they will review the legislation again and decide to revoke it.
“There is no credible evidence to support the stated public health objective that restricting tobacco displays will reduce youth smoking levels. The TMA shares the Government’s view that minors should not smoke and they should not have access to tobacco products. Proof of age schemes and rigorous enforcement of laws on under-age sales are more effective solutions to the issue of preventing youth access to tobacco and the TMA is fully committed to supporting these activities.
“The TMA is strongly opposed to the principle of plain packaging and would expect a genuine consultation and regulatory impact assessment if the Government decides to pursue this further. We do not believe any plans for plain packaging are based on sound public policy, nor any compelling evidence. Moves to prevent tobacco companies from exercising their intellectual property rights would place the Government in breach of legal obligations relating to intellectual property, international trade and European law. Plain packs are also likely to lead to yet further increases in the smuggling of tobacco products and plain packs would make it so much easier for a counterfeiter to copy than existing branded packs making it even more difficult for a consumer to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit products.”
Chris Ogden added; “We await the detail of other tobacco control measures in the Tobacco Control Plan and hope that our voice will be heard in the consultation”.
Dirk Vennix, Director of Communications
t: 020 7544 0115 m: 07790 060041
Zöe Walker, Corporate Affairs Manager
t: 020 7544 0111 m: 07872 376748
Notes to Editors:
1/ The TMA is the trade association for tobacco companies that operate in the United Kingdom. Our members are British American Tobacco UK Ltd, Gallaher Ltd (a member of the JTI Group of companies) and Imperial Tobacco Ltd.