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Report Questions Benefits of Plain Cigarette Packaging

According to a new report by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a self-described "leading libertarian think tank," a plan to require plain packaging for cigarettes in the U.K. would produce little effect on smoking rates,

ASI called the government's proposal "profoundly illiberal," warning the policy would set in place a dangerous precedent, as plain packaging could then extend to other products such as fatty foods.

The report, "Plain Packaging: Commercial Expression, Anti-Smoking Extremism and the Risks of Hyper-Regulation," said there exists no evidence that plain packaging would have any effect on existing smokers or the smoking rate, nor would it prevent non-smokers from smoking.

"It is extraordinary that a government which claims to be against excessive regulation should be contemplating a law which even the provisional wing of the anti-smoking lobby considered unthinkable until very recently," said Christopher Snowdon, author of the report.

For more on global regulatory issues such as tobacco packaging, be sure to read "Global Trends" in the upcoming March NACS Magazine.

Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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