Australians become global guinea pigs for plain packaging for tobacco

Mark Littlewood comments on Australia's recent tobacco advertising legislation

Commenting on the Australian Parliament effectively passing a bill for plain packaging of tobacco products, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The Australians have decided to act as global guinea pigs for plain packaging. The British government should certainly not follow them in pursuing this expensive public health policy given the complete lack of evidence for its effectiveness.

“In the highly unlikely event that the enforced sale of cigarettes in dull plain packets adds enormously to the life expectancy of Australians then there may be a case for action. But in the meantime the UK can save itself great expense by simply observing the consequences of this policy in Australia. In a few years the government can then decide – on the basis of the evidence – whether to introduce a similar policy here.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Director, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, rporter@iea.org.uk.

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