Nearly 100 independent retailers from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland have protested the British government's plans to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products at Westminster.
Following a meeting with MPs Nick de Bois of the Conservative Party and Gerry Sutcliffe of Labour to share concerns about the legislation, members of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents marched to the Department of Health wearing plain masks and t-shirts reading, 'NFRN says no to plain packaging.'
National President Martyn Brown explained the NFRN position, "Plain packaging is not the way to stop young people smoking. All it will achieve will be a rise in smuggled or counterfeit tobacco. Sales will be taken away from those who retail responsibly and into the hands of a wholly unscrupulous and criminal fraternity who will exploit any opportunity to make money, including selling tobacco to those under the age of 18."
He called on independent retailers to campaign against the plans by going to their local MPs and telling them that plain packaging will make the growing counterfeit cigarette trade worse, and to encourage customers to do the same.
He added, "Put plainly and simply, plain packaging is not the answer."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.