22nd January, 2015 -
Following the announcement of the Government's intention to move ahead with plain packaging of tobacco products, Suleman Khonat, the National Spokesman of the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance and a Blackburn shopkeeper commented:
"This announcement is a hammer blow to the tens of thousands of small retailers across the country. We are already dealing with the negatives impact of measures such as the display ban but the evidence from Australia shows that plain packaging has led to an increase in smuggled and illicit tobacco. This will damage the incomes of legitimate businesses and make it easier for children to buy tobacco off street corners. Organised criminals don't care who they sell to or how old they are. The government needs to rethink this decision if it cares about the future of local retailers and the communities that they serve."
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7th August, 2014 - The second consultation on tobacco plain packaging closes today. The consultation which looks at the regulations involved in the proposed restrictions, was launched by Health Minister, Jane Ellison.
In her response to the first consultation in the summer of 2012, Jane Ellison demonstrated concern at the impact the introduction of plain packaging would have on retailers.
Today, Suleman Khonat, the National Spokesman of the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance and a Blackburn shopkeeper commented:
“In her response to the 2012 consultation on plain packaging, Jane Ellison stated that she was ‘conscious that a sudden change in the law could have an impact on smaller businesses, especially in the challenging economic environment we currently face.’ She’s quite right to be concerned. Introducing plain packaging will see an increase in tobacco smuggling, which will mean lost sales for legitimate retailers like me. Smugglers are criminals, so more smuggling means more crime in our communities. They don’t mind who they sell to and will happily sell to the under 18s, the very people plain packaging is supposed to protect.