JOHN Drummond from the Scottish Grocers’ Federation claims that Scots don’t want plain, standardised tobacco packaging (Letters, 28 July). But this is just speculation, and on this occasion he guesses wrong. Independent opinion polls show majority support for the measure among the public.
Indeed, it is hard to find any group that opposes plain packs who do not have a financial interest in selling cigarettes and tobacco. Many of the naysayers, like the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, have financial links to tobacco companies.
The claim that plain packs will boost the illegal trade in tobacco is also guesswork and was dismissed by the European Union’s anti-fraud watchdog and our own Revenue and Customs at a Westminster parliamentary committee hearing last month.
Those opposing standard packaging point out that young people often obtain cigarettes through adults, which is true but entirely irrelevant. The point is that children try to get hold of cigarettes because they see them as desirable – hence the need to make them less attractive. At least 40 trials and studies have consistently found that plain packs achieve this aim.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive, ASH Scotland, Edinburgh