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Angela Harbutt: I don't want to say we told you so but ...

Wed 28th March 2012, posted by editor

Government to consider plain packaging for ... alcohol!

Well, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. With the public consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco not yet underway,  the Government is already considering plain packaging of alcohol.

In a statement released on Monday, the Government announced that the Commons Health Select Committee is to hold a consultation on the government's "alcohol strategy". Amongst the things they will look at is “Plain packaging and marketing bans”.

As Alex Massie (Spectator) wrote so succinctly yesterday:

The public health racket specialises in opening Overton Windows. This is another example of that. Today's absurdity is tomorrow's policy. Just considering plain packaging for booze - brown paper bags for one and all! - makes it more likely this will actually eventually happen. The inconceivable can become conceivable pretty damn quickly. 

Now is not a time for us to say “WE TOLD YOU SO”. 

Unless plain packaging for tobacco is stopped in its track the floodgates will be opened and it will be of little solace for us to remind consumers of our attempts to warn them that tobacco is only the beginning. 

The campaign promoting the introduction plain packaging of tobacco has had the audacity to explicitly state that plain packaging for tobacco is not the thin end of the wedge and “will not therefore set a precedent for other consumer products”.

We invite them to withdraw their claims forthwith.

See also: Dick Puddlecote (Plain packaging for alcohol here we come)
Parliament.uk (Government's alcohol strategy)


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In 2012 the Government held a public consultation on whether the UK should adopt standardised (or 'plain') packaging for tobacco products. In total the consultation received over 665,000 responses, with a substantial majority (427,888) opposed to the policy. In November 2013 the Government announced a further review of the evidence on standardised packaging and commissioned paediatrician Sir Cyril Chantler submit a report by the end of March 2014. The report was published on April 3 when public health minister Jane Ellison simultaneously announced that it was "minded" to proceed with the policy subject to a "final short consultation". To make your views known please visit our NO PRIME MINISTER microsite NOW! To receive updates about our campaign please enter your details below.

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