Plans to ban cigarette packet logos 'may increase illegal trade'

By Jez Abbott, Tuesday 03 June 2008

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Government plans to ban tobacco firms from using logos on cigarette packs may inflame the illegal trade in tobacco without the power of printed branding.


The Tobacco Manufacturers' Association said it was too early to forecast print implications, but believed more regulation could affect freedom of choice and lawful trade.

The Department of Health's (DoH) consultation paper, The Future of Tobacco Control, looks at forcing firms to pack cigarettes in plain boxes and further restrictions on advertising.

Some of the proposed regulations, such as display restrictions, could have serious unintended consequences, said the association's director, Chris Ogden.

"It could increase an already large illicit market in tobacco," he added, calling for "credible evidence" the proposals would address Government objectives.

A spokeswoman for British American Tobacco said: "I'm not sure what effect this would have on UK printing as most production facilities are outside Britain."

Bristol-based Imperial Tobacco Group, which controls around half the British cigarette market, said it was too early to comment on the implications of the plans.

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