The Tobacco Retailers Alliance (TRA) has submitted its response to the government’s consultation on the plain or standardised packaging of tobacco products which closes today (Friday).
Debbie Corris, the national spokeswoman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, said: “Plain packaging would lead to a rise in tobacco smuggling with criminals able to copy the almost identical looking products so much more easily.
“It’s worth remembering that smugglers don’t ask the age of the people they are selling to, unlike us retailers, and so young people – the very people the government is trying to protect – would have greater access to tobacco than ever before.”
A recent poll found that 86% of serving police officers said plain packaging would increase tobacco smuggling across the UK.
Corris said: “Plain packaging would also have a detrimental effect on retailers who would see an increase in transaction and stock-taking times and an increase in the time they have their eye off the shop while they search for the right product.
“It would also increase the amount of red tape that retailers have to deal with when the newest restriction, the display ban, isn’t even introduced in our stores yet, let alone its effects evaluated. As everyone knows, young people start smoking not because of the packaging but because of peer pressure or because a family member smokes.”
Source: The Tobacco Retailers Alliance (TRA)