Commenting on the announcement of a consultation on the plain packaging of cigarette packets, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“This consultation is a patronising and unnecessary distraction which will do nothing to improve the public’s health.
“Last year, David Cameron promised his government would no longer treat everybody like children, but would treat adults like adults and give them more responsibility over their lives.
“A few short months later and his government is launching a consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco products. The coalition is now seriously considering banning British adults from looking at certain colour schemes. A more nannying and ill-judged intrusion into our lives is hard to imagine.
“It is inconceivable that any adult in the country can be unaware that there are health risks associated with smoking. Branding and imagery on cigarette packets do not lead anyone to believe otherwise.
“Experience from other countries – such as Germany – suggests that the best way to tackle underage smoking is through improved education and better enforcement at the point of sale.<