A libertarian pressure group has declared its support for Hands Off Our Packs, which is leading the fight against the plain packaging of tobacco.
Simon Richards, director of The Freedom Association, said: “Attempts to force plain packs on tobacco companies are yet another unjustifiable assault on people’s right to make their own decisions about their own spending choices and activities.
“Freedom to advertise and promote one’s own products and services is a fundamental part of a free society. It is no coincidence such freedom does not exist in totalitarian regimes such as North Korea.
“I urge anybody who cares about freedom, smokers and non-smokers alike, to support the Hands Off Our Packs campaign”.
Hands Off Our Packs campaigner Angela Harbutt said: “We are delighted The Freedom Association has joined us in this fight against plain packaging. The recent revelation politicians are already considering plain packaging of alcohol shows that this is not just about smoking or tobacco. It’s about excessive regulation in the general and the infantilisation of society.”
Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, said: “We are building a coalition of the sane. There is no evidence plain packaging will stop underage smoking and even those who support the measure admit that it won’t do anything to persuade existing smokers to stop.
“We look forward to other groups and individuals joining this important battle.
“Plain packaging serves no purpose other than to denormalise a legal product and 10m adult consumers who contribute £10bn a year to the Treasury. It’s economic madness and another blow for individual freedom.”