"Plain packaging is a free speech issue"
Now online magazine Spiked joins "coalition of the sane"
One of Britain's leading online magazines has declared its support for the Hands Off Our Packs campaign against the plain packaging of tobacco.
Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked, which focuses on politics, culture and society from a humanist and libertarian viewpoint, said: “Plain packaging is a free speech issue, plain and simple.
“In demanding that cigarettes be stuffed into boxes with no branding or logos on them, the authorities are denying companies the right to publish perfectly reasonable and inoffensive material: the names of their products.
“In any other area of life, such a heavy-handed obliteration of the freedom to state one’s name in public would be frowned upon. And so it should be frowned upon here too.
“Anyone who believes in liberty, democracy and choice should support the campaign to get the state’s hands off our packs.”
Hands Off Our Packs campaigner Angela Harbutt said: "We are thrilled that such an important and influential magazine has joined our coalition of the sane.
“There is now a wide spectrum of opposition to plain packaging - political, economic and social. In comparison, support for plain packs seems limited to a few nanny state parliamentarians and health groups, often funded by government, who appear determined to impose their will on the rest of society, no matter what the costs.”
Articles on plain packaging will appear in Spiked on Tuesday 24 April 2012.
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.