Japan Tobacco feels UK has decided on plain packets

The government of the UK has already made a decision to enact legislation on tobacco products to be sold in plain packets without brand name even though consultation on the issue it was not completed, according to the statement of the cigarette maker Japan Tobacco on July 6.

The cigarette maker, which produces Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Winston and Camel cigarettes and sells them in Britain, thinks Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s anti-smoking stance and a false consultation process says the government will continue so-called plain packaging.

JT Building

A man smoking a cigarette behind a logo of Japan Tobacco

Martin Southgate, managing director of the UK for Japan Tobacco International (JTI) said: “There is a fear of the Department of Health’s decision to introduce plain packaging”.

He added that the government intends to find the proving to meet a pre-determined view”.

The Department of Health stated that the decision will be made when the consultation had finished and the proving examined. By means of introduction of plain cigarette packaging, the Health Department wants to decrease the rate of smoking young people and help in smoking cessation to existing smokers who are trying to quit.

A department spokeswoman said that the consultation process is going on and the Health Department has taken no decision.

Britain refused consultation process that lasted three months in April on plain packaging as it intended to discourage smoking habit which presses the public health system.

The process was extended by a month to August 10 after getting thousands of responses and it said it wanted to ensure everyone who wanted to facilitate can.

Before the consultation was started, media quoted Lansley saying “we no longer see smoking as a part of life” and that he does not want tobacco companies to have “business” in the UK.

Australia is the one that intends to introduce plain packaging which will prohibit attractive designs and brand names from cigarette packages in a front page with graphic health warnings.

The Canberra government intends to enact legislation in December, but big tobacco companies including Japan Tobacco want to contest the move in the Australian High Court.

JTI’s Southgate states that there is no firm proving to believe plain packaging will decline youth smoking and it will increase illicit trade in the UK and loses the government nearly 3 billion pounds a year in lost excise tax.

The largest tobacco company, after Philip Morris and British American Tobacco, aims to spend 2 million pounds over the coming months to avoid plain packaging by advertising campaign which launches this weekend.

Japan Tobacco took over Gallaher in 2007 giving it about 40 % share of the UK tobacco market behind Imperial Tobacco at just over 45 %, but ahead of BAT with just a 6 percent market share.

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