"There is no evidence that plain, standardised packaging would result in a rise in illegal tobacco sales"The article reads:
"On behalf of the North-East Trading Standards Association, I’d like to respond to concerns expressed by packaging industry spokesman Mike Ridgway about the standardised packaging of cigarettes (HAS, Dec 17).
Standardised cigarette packs will not be plain at all and would still carry all the sophisticated security devices to allow enforcement teams to tell legal tobacco from fake and illicit.
The type of new standardised packs introduced in Australia on December 1 still have designs and colours – they just aren’t the alluring, brightly coloured brands and logos that tobacco companies use to attract new smokers.
The new packaging includes colour pictures, text warnings and other labelling that are no easier to counterfeit than the brands currently available on shop shelves.
Trading Standards teams are experienced in identifying counterfeit products and the use of technology is our best line of defence.
Increasingly, the threat is not counterfeits, but from brands that are manufactured openly and legally in Russia and distributed illegally to countries all over Europe."
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