Plain speaking

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As A lawyer, Colin Hulme gives an interpretation of the legal implications of requiring plain packaging for tobacco products.

He notes that there are other lawyers who share this interpretation.

However, he will be aware that there are others who do not, and that both the Holyrood and Westminster governments have concluded this is an action they can confidently proceed with.

This is how our legal system works and is a crucial part of the necessary examination of any new proposal.

It also explains why courtrooms across the land are kept busy by lawyers using exactly the same legal framework to suggest entirely different conclusions.

The comprehensive and independent Chantler review into the health impacts of plain packaging has just reported its findings.

It concluded that requiring tobacco products to be sold in plain, standardised packaging should provide real and substantive benefits to young people’s health.

It also flatly rejected the tobacco industry claims that plain packs would boost the counterfeit market.

With the benefits of introducing standard packs now clearly established, there is a crucial role for lawyers such as Mr Hulme to work through the legal details in order to present solutions to any potential hurdles identified and so to help deliver the clear public good which plain packs offers.

I wish them all the best in that important task.

Sheila Duffy

Chief Executive

ASH Scotland