The campaign was created by the smokers’ lobby group Forest to promote the Hands Off Our Packs initiative. It features a video, ‘Nanny Town’, plus a banner advertisement with a link to the Hands Off Our Packs website where visitors are invited to register their opposition to plain packaging.
The video includes comments from smokers and non-smokers including Hands Off Our Packs campaigner Angela Harbutt; Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs; Sam Bowman, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute; and Simon Clark, director of Forest.
The video also features a retailer who is concerned about the impact plain packaging will have on the way she runs her shop, and a youth supporter worker who is worried plain packaging may make cigarettes more not less appealing to teenagers.
Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: “Plain packaging is yet another attack on retailers and adult consumers. People are sick of being nannied by government. Britain needs to be protected from excessive regulation, not controlled by more and more legislation.”
Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “When this government came to power I don’t remember them saying that it was going to be a priority of theirs to increase regulation and persecute minority lifestyle choices.
“We’ve got to win this battle and do everything we can to stop this ridiculous new growth of the nanny state.”
The ‘Nanny Town’ campaign will appear as an online advertisement and will play to just under a million people over three days, said Forest.