Plain packaging will put iconic British exports at risk, Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance warns

Plain tobacco packaging proposals: not fit for purpose, says Forest

Plain packaging: threat to other product sectors

Plain packaging is to put iconic British exports at risk as key trading partners seek retaliation over the unproven measure, senior industry figures warned today. The Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance (CPMA) has expressed alarm that plain packaging could soon spread to alcohol and other sectors as a global trade dispute over the plain packaging of tobacco products risks spinning out of control.

Indonesia, a major cigarette producer, has threatened to ban alcohol branding in retaliation for governments around the world introducing plain packaging of cigarettes.

Mike Ridgway, spokesman for a number of UK packaging manufacturers, said: “We have long feared that introducing plain packs for tobacco products would eventually lead to plain packaging in other sectors. It now looks like these fears could become reality sooner than anyone expected.

“Indonesia represents a market of nearly 250m consumers and if they retaliate to plain pack cigarettes by adopting branding bans for alcohol it would affect all alcohol products sold to Indonesia from anywhere in the world – Scotch Whisky, English Ale and Somerset Cider would all have to drop their branding and packaging for grotesque graphic health warnings.

“The removal of complex brands from product categories such as tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals would lead to a devastating collapse in production value in the UK’s packaging industry, not to mention the damage wrought to the sectors concerned.

“Whilst the Government’s aims of reducing the number of young people smoking should be supported, there remains absolutely no evidence that plain packaging has reduced smoking rates in the one country (Australia) where it has been introduced. Instead it has led to a rapid growth in the sale of illegal cigarettes and has triggered a trade dispute that could now engulf the alcohol industry and other sectors.

“The UK government has promised to launch a new consultation on plain packaging and based on the latest evidence, we urge them to abandon this disastrous policy with widespread unknown consequences.”


  • Mike Ridgway

    I represent the packaging industry in which I have worked for over 40 years ; I am an avant non-smoker ; i do not want to see the many loyal and well trained employees in the packaging manufacturing industry lose their jobs because of the introduction of regulation on which there is no evidence that it is effective ; this regulation culture is now expanding into a whole range of consumer markets with alcohol and the prohibition of alcohol sponsorship of sporting events now rapidly moving up the NGO regulatory agenda.The activities of the TCA’s and their similar NGO comrades need to be closely monitored.

  • shaz

    yes I can because I was once a smoker. anti tobacco come up with rediculous theories to justify their jobs and redundant actions because they dont understand the addiction. you are using the same lies and misinformation to state your case. for instance second hand smoke has never been proven to have much effect, a long term study released last year showed neglible affect from second hand smoke. smokers also die 7 years younger on average and tobacco tax far exceeds what smoking illness costs health systems. so a non smoker is more of a burden to society because likely they will live to a ripe old age, unable to work and heavily dependent on the health system, a lot of smokers never achieve that. you need to stop swallowing the lies and propaganda, smokers are killing themselves but no one else – that is just unfounded histeria. plain packaging has had little if any effect in australia, and any youngster who starts smoking with the current prices would be mad, but most likely they will do what starters have always done, steal smokes from their parents. this is why adult smokers need to be the focus to help them give up, without judgement and spurning them. while the focus on how evil smoking is goes on, kids in increasing numbers are experimenting with drugs and alcohol instead which can be deadly in a short period of time. anti tobacco dont care about that though, so there needs to be some balance, less lying and proven results not stupid actions based on stupid theories from people who have never smoked and dont get it.

  • koala123

    So much for ‘Disqus’

    You get moderated comments, which don’t get approved so they stop a disqusion. Or maybe it was the link I posted.

    Anyway, can’t be bothered typing that out again… but packaging is an important marketing tool. If all cigarettes were packaged in pink boxes with hearts and kisses you don’t think it would reduce the amount of male smokers or increase the amount of young girls who take it up?

    As you said, smoking is a serious addiction so the key to reduce the number of smokers is making sure they don’t start. This is what plain packaging sets out to do, and it will undoubtedly have at least a moderate impact over the long term.

  • shaz

    “I don’t think smokers have been wrongly maligned. Smoking is a selfish
    habit. Its understandable that people would show anger or dislike
    towards smokers as it can harm the health of everyone and is a massive
    burden on society in many other ways.”

    its not just a habit but a serious addiction which is difficult to break. you’ve obvioulsy bought into the nonsense of unproven affects of second hand smoke, what about 3rd hand smoke? are you suffering from that now too? Hating on others is selfish, because you can dehumanise them and be superior. the real question is, why do people smoke or take up other addictions while others dont, if people are happy they dont need adddictions, so lets punish and vilify the poor hapless souls for fun. btw, do you drink? that is selfish too because it does actually put other lives at risk from drunk driving, domestic violence etc. you need to get out more if you think smoking is this evil.

  • shaz

    bolony! I dont know anyone who took up smoking because of the way the packets looked. It was peer group pressure, plain and simple. If the anti tobacco lobby (whom I assume you belong to) can’t understand why people start smoking in the first place, then they are all but useless as this point. This desperate nonsense is all about clutching at straws and trying to justify their jobs and funding but it is no longer producing any results.

  • koala123

    If you do some research you will find the fancy attractive tobacco packaging does have a part to play in people taking up smoking in the first place.

    In regards to it encouraging black market tobacco products,it can work both ways. On one hand it ‘could’ make it cheaper/easier for counterfeit cigarettes to be made. On the other hand, in many countries the vast majority of black market cigarettes are genuine products illegally imported without tax. Plain packaging will have a massive negative impact on this business as the black market products will be extremely easy to spot.

    Many laws (including ones affecting packaging) have been passed previously that only apply to tobacco products and this is just another one of them. The tobacco industry knows this is one which, over the long term, will greatly reduce the number of smokers as it portrays such a blunt negative image of smoking and they won’t have their colorful boxes to distract from it. This is why there is so much fight against it, including the creation of many front organizations such as the ‘Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance’ featured in this article. The tobacco companies have been lying/deceiving/tricking people for a long time including denying for decades that tobacco was addictive or
    dangerous all while targeting their products at children.

    Just because a handful of so called doctors decide to write ‘new tobacco’ articles is completely unrelated to plain packaging of tobacco and the majority of people simply don’t care about such hyperbole.

    I don’t think smokers have been wrongly maligned. Smoking is a selfish habit. Its understandable that people would show anger or dislike towards smokers as it can harm the health of everyone and is a massive burden on society in many other ways. Anything that reduces its prevalence should be welcomed and not pushed aside because of threats and scare tactics targeted at governments,shopkeepers,,manufacturers of other products and many others

  • shaz

    “The fact is that the Oz government is as near fascist as they come.”

    completely true, run by overpaid mediocre pollies who screw the australian public out of every last dollar and freedom they can.

  • shazg

    It’s very naive to think plain packaging does anything except encourage
    black market tobacco products in the market. smokers dont care that much
    about the brand, cigarettes in aus are so expensive now theyll easily
    buy black market smokes to save money. And yes, even in australia we’ve
    heard of “the new tobacco” claims. koala, tobacco companies are not
    behind this, it’s the overpaid health nazis who want to ensure they
    have jobs. They now have an uphill battle to get rid of remaining
    (highly addicted) smokers and prove they have a role in public health
    still, so they are targetting other industries now. It will keep them
    busy for decades to come on their cushy incomes.Other folk are about to find out what smokers have been subject to in the way they have been maligned and treated.

  • koala123

    You are the naive one comparing tobacco to sugar, alcohol etc. Anyone with intelligence should be able to understand how tobacco is significantly different than any other legal product.

    Regardless of what some minority extremist groups may be trying to accomplish by calling for this kind of packaging on products that they personally hate, the reality is that there is no real concern about this kind of packaging being applied to anything else other than tobacco products hence why the governments are targeting this disgusting deadly drug and not sugar.

    The only people who contest against plain packaging of tobacco are those
    addicted, those who fear they may loose money or those with a strange
    obsession of objecting to anything involving government control.

    Also I like how you ended that nonsense with an insult, very mature.

  • Junican

    ‘koala’? Does that suggest that the person is Australian? Ah! That will account for the ignorance.
    NB. I am not really blaming koala for the ignorance. The fact is that the Oz government is as near fascist as they come. The media is controlled, so koala will not be aware of the tobacco template being used for alcohol, sugar, salt, chocolate oranges, etc. He/She is still being bombarded by ‘tobacco products are unique’ mantras.

  • nisakiman

    You are quite remarkably naive. Tobacco a unique product? Have you had your head in the sand?

    The Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance is the tobacco industry hiding behind another name

    Are cigarettes the only product that is packaged? Have you been in a supermarket recently?

    All the single issue fanatics are yammering for a piece of the Tobacco Control action now.

    Hey, sugar is lethal! We should adopt the (enduringly lunatic and destructive) Tobacco Control template, and force manufacturers to put gross photoshopped images all over the packs! Ok, it hasn’t worked for tobacco, but I’m sure it will work for sugar! And alcohol! And fast food! And transfats! And salt! Etc! Etc!

    You obviously haven’t been reading the news. All the above self-righteous, prohibitionist organisations have been calling for tobacco-style restrictions on the products that they personally hate, just like the tobacco haters before them. It’s a disease, and it’s contagious. And you haven’t noticed?

    I think you need to get out more.

  • koala123

    This is just the tobacco industry using scaremongering to try prevent governments from putting plain packaging on cigarettes.

    The Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance is the tobacco industry hiding behind another name, as they are known to do.

    Indonesia threatened to put New Zealand’s alcohol in plain packaging if they went ahead with it but they didn’t say it would affect all alcohol. That would never stand up in a court as its discriminatory. The plain packaging laws are fair as they apply to all tobacco, not just from a certain country.