I hate cigarettes. I think they’re vile and everything about them disgusts me. But when it comes to choosing whether or not one wants to smoke, it should entirely be left to the individual, not the government. And as much as I hate ciggies (and tobacco companies) manufacturers should be allowed to brand them however they wish. The government has no business trying to enforce plain packaging of anything.
I don’t think Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was completely off mark when he said that “smoking is no longer part of life” (it’s never been a part of mine but many friends and family have quit smoking ages ago), but he’s going about the ‘war on tobacco’ in a terribly bad way.
Cigarette and tobacco displays have already been banned and now the next step is to enforce plain packaging for a legal product that raises over £10 billion a year for the Treasury. If this goes through for tobacco, imagine what the government will go after next! Alcohol? Crisps? Fizzy drinks? Chocolates? Packaging is part of what makes a product unique and adds to the overall consumer experience. Imagine the finest chocolate being sold in the same packaging as a Mars bar!
I shudder at the thought of a world void of unique branding. If you are opposed to plain packaging, check out Hands Off Our Packs and see what you can do to help.