After combing through the research literature, Basham and Luik separate the methodological wheat from the chafe and discover that plain packaging is far removed from the world of evidence-based public health. The paucity of evidence to support plain packaging would be laughable if the consequences were not so serious for individual citizens, private companies, and for our body politic.
International trade agreements, smokers’ consumer rights, manufacturers’ intellectual property rights, and our basic liberties are all at risk. At the stroke of a pen, plain packaging will make the UK a poorer and a more illiberal society, and a nation further infantilised by her Nanny State – and, critically, not a whit healthier.
Dr Patrick Basham is the Director of the Democracy Institute. Dr John Luik is a Senior Fellow.
The Democracy Institute is a politically independent public policy research organization based in Washington and London. It aims to provide a balanced and thoughtful perspective on topical issues, promoting open and rational
debate based on evidence rather than ideology.
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