UK Dumps Plain Packaging: Australia Must Follow Suit

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance & MyChoice Australia today welcomed news that the British government has unceremoniously dumped all proposed tobacco plain packaging legislation.

The Sun newspaper today reported that British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered plain packaging to be pulled from next week’s Queen’s Speech, with a Whitehall source saying plain packaging has “nothing to do with the government’s key purpose”. Over half a million British residents wrote to the government saying they objected to the policy being implemented.

 “The British Government has admitted what we have known all along – plain packaging is plain bad policy” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “There is not a shred of evidence plain packaging will reduce smoking rates. Plain packaging violates intellectual property rights, fuels the black market and has set us down a slippery slope where there are now calls for plain packaging of alcohol and food products. This is no longer the nanny state – it is the bully state gone mad. Then Health Minister Nicola Roxon previously stated that Australia’s introduction of Plain Packaging will “inspire” and “lead” the world. It’s certainly inspired other governments – to run the other way from this policy disaster!

“The Australian government should immediately follow the lead of the United Kingdom and repeal plain packaging legislation” added Mr Andrews.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is a 25,000 member strong nonpartisan grassroots activist organisation dedicated to reducing the size and scope of government, and MyChoice Australia is dedicated to restoring individual freedoms, small government and fighting the nanny state.

 “Plain packaging is the inevitable policy morass that grows from overzealous do-goodery” said Lara Jeffery, Director of Communications for MyChoice Australia. “Citizens are more than capable of choosing whether to smoke – pretty pictures do not disable their ability to make choice. In choosing to dump plain packaging, the United Kingdom has shown itself to be a beacon of reason 

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