Smokers' group campaigns against plain packs
Smokers’ lobbying body Forest is to launch a campaign against plain packaging of tobacco – called Hands Off Our Packs.
The body has created a website where people opposed to plain packaging can petition the government when it begins a UK-wide public consultation on the issue this spring.
Earlier this month an alliance of tobacco control groups launched a campaign called Plain Packs Protect, in favour of plain packaging, and this is Forest’s response.
Director Simon Clark said: "Public consultations on tobacco control are effectively public sector consultations. Thousands of public workers are deployed to persuade MPs that there is overwhelming support for the latest tobacco control initiative.
"All over the country groups funded by the taxpayer will be gathering signatures or signing their own petitions. We want to give opponents of pointless regulation the voice they are often denied.
"The Hands Off Our Packs website and petition will give ordinary consumers the chance to have their say as well."
Forest said the campaign has already won support from Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, and Josie Appleton, director of the Manifesto Club which campaigns for “freedom in everyday life”.
The Hands Off Our Packs campaign will be launched in February. Forest is backed by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Limited and Gallaher Limited.