IEA response to government “U-turn” on plain packaging


Press Release

New report argues for standing only economy class rail carriages

Press Release

IEA response to the Autumn Statement

Plain packaging could potentially be a very disappointing U-turn by the Government.

Commenting on government plans to press ahead with the plain packaging of tobacco, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Plain packaging will have a negligible impact on health, will boost the black market, and do enormous harm to small businesses.

“In the few months since the government said it would wait and see what happened with plain packs in Australia, there has been a study which found there are more counterfeit cigarettes in Australia than ever, a study that found no decline in the Australian smoking rate, and a survey that found that some smokers there had thought about quitting but hadn’t actually done so.

“This hardly represents a green light for a policy that has been roundly rejected in a public consultation and rejected by the European Union. The gimmick of plain packaging remains a fool’s errand as well as a smuggler’s charter.”

Notes to editors:

To arrange an interview please contact Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications: 020 7799 8909, [email protected]

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.