I wrote recently about the significant role that standardised packaging will play in making tobacco products less glamourous and appealing to children and young people.
This is of vital importance as the latest data confirms that every day 50 underage children in Scotland take up smoking.
The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance’s recent reply (19 February) simply proves how fearful the tobacco industry is about this move to bland packaging and its impact on their ability to “recruit” the next generation of young Scots.
Plain packs have already had an impact in Australia, which has experienced its biggest drop in smoking in two decades.
And as for concerns about increased smuggling and illicit tobacco, independent scientific evidence shows that, in Australia, there was no increase in counterfeit tobacco after plain packs were introduced.
If anything, there may have been a small decline. Big tobacco’s smuggling scare story is exactly that.
Suleman Khonat is right about one thing when he talks about the reliability of sources. The British Lung Foundation exists only to support those affected by lung disease and to ensure that future generations enjoy the best possible respiratory health.
The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance exists to promote the sale of tobacco and is funded by the tobacco industry. Which source would you trust in this ongoing debate?
The facts are clear. Plain packs work. That’s why the tobacco lobby is so scared of them.
They will help prevent children from being attracted towards this lethal and addictive product. That’s the future we all want for Scotland’s children – isn’t it?
(Dr) James Cant
Head of British Lung Foundation Scotland