LONDON - Japan Tobacco International (JTI) launched a campaign on July 6 to highlight the potential consequences of enforcing standardized (plain packaging) cigarette packs in the United Kingdom.
"There is a debate shaping up around standardized packaging and we are an important part of it," said Martin Southgate, managing director in the U.K. for JTI. "We are seriously concerned about the way the consultation has been managed from the start."
For JTI, a genuine and transparent process that pays close attention to the consequences of such a proposal €" notably illicit trade €" is urgently needed. "I fail to see how making illicit trade easier can be seen as progress on reducing smoking," explained Southgate.
The campaign kicked off over the weekend in U.K. publications with messages that target government and business decision makers. JTI is highlighting the distinct lack of evidence supporting the Department of Health€™s consultation on plain packaging, which ignores the government's own Better Regulation rules. Further, the focus is on the various consequences of standardized packs from both a consumer and business perspective.
Plain packaging is a concern that goes far beyond tobacco, notes JTI. Thousands of business partners, wholesalers, retailers and other CPG companies are increasingly under attack with unnecessary red tape. "If we succeed in propelling intelligent arguments to the surface €" from us or others €" we will all benefit from it. Hopefully the Department of Health will re-think its approach and common sense will prevail," concluded Southgate.