IEA blog: importance of brands in a free society
Plain packaging would set dangerous precedent
Writing for the Institute of Economic Affairs blog, Hands Off Our Packs campaigner Amul Pandya argus that plain packaging of tobacco will set a dangerous precedent:
There is a significant danger that once the precedent has been set with plain packaging, similar legislation will be extended to other areas.
For instance, Dr Simon Chapman, the chief proponent and figurehead of plain packaging in Australia, has publicly stated he would like to see graphic health warnings on alcohol products. Indeed it is important to note that ‘sin taxes’ and stronger licensing rules are already in the pipeline for non-tobacco products.
As the IEA monograph Prohibitions sets out, there is a strong relationship between restrictive lifestyle legislation and the black market, where products are not safely tested and are sold to the more vulnerable sections of society.
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Last year the Government held a public consultation on whether the UK should adopt standardised (or 'plain') packaging of tobacco products. Over 235,000 people signed the Hands Off Our Packs petition. In total, around 500,000 people signed petitions against plain packaging, compared with 210,000 who signed petitions in favour of the measure. The Department of Health is still reviewing the consultation responses so watch this space. If you would like to receive e-updates about our campaign please enter your details below and click the relevant boxes for Forest/Hands Off Our Packs. You can unsubscribe at any time.