Retailers ‘opposed to plain cigarette packets’

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Retailers are increasingly opposed to Government proposals to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in the wake of evidence from Australia, a poll reveals today.

Research into retailers revealed seventy three per cent in the North West believe the trade in illicit tobacco hurts their business and decreases annual sales revenue.

Of these, 34 per cent believe an increase in illicit trade in tobacco products could further hurt their business to the point where they would have to consider reducing the number of people they employ.

Nearly seven in 10 North West retailers believe the UK has a problem with illicit trade.

And 58 per cent of these believe the problem of illicit trade is getting worse, according to the survey.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, said: “Retailers already feel abandoned by a government that promised to help business, but has instead unleashed a blizzard of new regulations, leaving them to foot the bill.

“Small retailers are facing the cost of introducing the point of sale display ban next year, so it is absurd that the government might now adopt plain packaging when there is not a shred of evidence that it would reduce smoking rates.

“The more retailers hear about the impact of plain packaging in Australia, which is the only country to experiment with the measure, the more opposed they are to 
seeing it introduced in the UK.”

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