Branding on cigarette packaging could be a thing of the past if Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley’s plans for the marketing of tobacco products get the go ahead.
The proposals are for cigarettes to be displayed and packaged in neutral, plain boxes: all forms of branding are to be removed; including all trademarks and images all to remain are obligatory health warnings and solely a brand name. Members of the public have expressed their uncertainty, as many are unaware of the positive changes that will come with regards to the brand being taken away.
Chief Executive of Action on Smoking, the health campaign charity has revealed that “Cigarettes are not like sweets or toys and should not be sold in fancy, colourful packaging which makes them appealing to children. Cigarettes are full of toxins and cause fatal diseases: plain, standardised packaging makes this explicit.” She also explained that the initial process of a consultation is the first opportunity for the plain packaging to come into action. This notion would then put the UK in a strong place to be the first European nation selling tobacco products in unadorned packaging.
Group of campaigners for smoking, FOREST, (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) on the other hand, have unveiled a campaign named HOOPS, (Hands off our packs). They strongly infringe the idea of selling cigarettes minus the branded packaging. A supporter of the campaign, Dan Donovan, designer and photographer has emphasised that “Plain packaging is an insult to our intelligence. I didn’t choose to smoke because of a brightly coloured packet. I chose to smoke because I enjoy it.”
The apparent intention behind the alteration in packaging is “to make all packs look unattractive and make health warnings more prominent.” As explained by Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and health, “Cigarettes are full of toxins and cause fatal diseases: plain, standardised packaging makes this explicit.”
Many professionals have recently put forward beliefs stemmed from their concerned attitudes with regards to illicit trade, they, believe that counterfeiting may increase because of the high cost of cigarettes.