The government intends to force tobacco companies to sell their product in plain packaging

The latest government proposal to prevent people smoking is to sell cigarettes in plain packaging. Now I’m happy for the government to do whatever they feel is necessary, but how is plain packaging going to help?

Maybe I am overestimating society but I really don’t believe people pull out their cigarette packet to the gasps of those around them and the admiration which comes with smoking such a “cool” brand of cigarettes.

Maybe I am mistaken: perhaps packaging is for cigarettes what the ipod is for mp3 players, but I doubt it.

Smoking is an atrocious habit. Whenever I sit a medical exam and I’m asked for an aetiological factor for a disease I can guarantee I’ll get a mark if I put smoking… gastric ulcers, hypertension, colon cancer… smoking causes literally everything.

The smoking ban is probably one of the best initiatives the current government has implemented. But they are clearly scraping the barrel for ideas with this one.

Not that the tobacco companies are completely logical, instead of drawing the evidence together that changing the packaging is going to have little effect on the prevalence of smokers. Gareth Davis, chief executive of Imperial Tobacco claimed a lack of packaging would allow the illicit counterfeiting cigarette trade to grow.

I’m sorry but my initial reaction is so what? Counterfeiting is usually dangerous as products can be cut with dangerous chemicals. Anybody who places a legitimate brand of cigarette in their mouth is already exposing themselves to a significant risk to their health.

Image: Maggie Smith /