Standardized statement ruled misleading

| August 30, 2013

The Gallaher Group subsidiary of Japan Tobacco International (JTI) made misleading claims about standardized tobacco packaging, according to a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) statement quoting a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

CRUK said the ruling represented the third time this year that the ASA had upheld a complaint against JTI over unsubstantiated and misleading claims regarding standardized cigarette packaging.

As a result of the ruling, which was made in response to objections by CRUK, the offending regional press “advertisements” cannot appear again in their current form.

Under the advertisement headline, “How do you spot a fake pack of cigarettes?” the company said that “19 percent of independent shopkeepers in London were considering closure as a direct result of the illegal tobacco trade.”

“The claim made no mention of the effects of ‘cross-border shopping’ on trade—people legitimately buying tobacco overseas for consumption in the U.K.—and was based on results from a survey of members belonging to a group funded by the tobacco industry, not shopkeepers as a whole,” CRUK said.

The U.K. government has dropped the question of standardized tobacco packaging, at least for the time being, but EU Commission proposals, due to be voted on next month, could introduce a form of standardized packaging by the back door.

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Category: Breaking News

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