Campaigners say New Zealand decision on plain packs not relevant to UK

| February 20, 2013

In an attempt to put some clear water between the UK and New Zealand, where both governments have been considering the question of standardized packaging for tobacco products, campaigners say that developments in New Zealand are not relevant to the UK, where the government has yet to make a decision.

The campaigners say that reports that the New Zealand government is to follow Australia and introduce standardized packaging for tobacco products would “infuriate” consumers in New Zealand.

“The decision will infuriate thousands of people who took part in a public consultation in New Zealand because the majority were against plain packaging,” said Angela Harbutt, of the UK’s Hands Off Our Packs campaign, which is managed by Forest.

“In contrast we expect our government to take into account the enormous level of opposition to plain packaging in the UK. This includes consumer and retail groups, packaging and design companies, retired and serving police officers.

“The UK consultation on standardised packaging attracted 700,000 responses, half a million opposed to plain packs. It would be extraordinary if the government ignored that level of protest. People would rightly ask serious questions about the political process.”

Harbutt said that tobacco control legislation in Australia and New Zealand was not relevant to the UK.

“New Zealand has been forced into alignment with Australia,” she said. “The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA), an agreement whereby goods that can be legally sold in New Zealand may also be legally sold in Australia, and vice versa, would have seriously undermined Australia’s plain packaging experiment. They couldn’t let that happen.”

Category: Breaking News

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