Smoking danger

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With regard to the impact of plain tobacco packaging, before the policy was implemented we had to rely on a variety of models and tests to predict what impact it would have.

But with accumulating real world data now available from Australia, the claims and denials of researchers linked to the tobacco industry (including Neil McKeganey, Letters, 11 September) become increasingly difficult to justify.

The official government figures from Australia show that smoking rates are declining at a very healthy rate, with no sign of the uptake in smoking predicted by the industry.

Similarly, the oft-promised flood of counterfeit tobacco has not materialised. However, the main aim of this policy always was to disrupt the relationship tobacco companies try to build with children, their future customers.

McKeganey is tragically wrong to say that “nobody ever died from the attractiveness of a cigarette packet”. Flashy imagery is part of the bait on the hook.

Sheila Duffy

ASH Scotland

Frederick Street

Edinburgh

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