Government extends consultation on plain packaging for tobacco
The government has extended its consultation on the introduction of standardised plain tobacco packaging in England, Wales and Scotland by a month to 10 August 2012.
Commenting on the extension health minister Anne Milton said: "We have an open mind about the introduction of standard packing and want to take full account of all views on the possible benefits and disadvantages of action in this area.
"We have received thousands of responses to the consultation already but we want to make sure that everyone who wants to contribute can."
The Association of Convenience Stores has said it opposes the introduction of the packaging and has made a submission to the Department of Health led consultation to highlight its concerns about the impact of service times, profitability and what it feels is the potential to fuel illegal trade.
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: "We urge Ministers not to impose yet another costly and disruptive regulatory burden on local shops. This proposal will make it slower and costlier to manage stock and serve customers.
"A decision to press ahead with standardised packaging for tobacco would create disruption and uncertainty at a time the tobacco display ban is yet to be fully implemented or its effects measured.
"Ministers should wait and carefully assess the impact of standardised packaging when it is imposed in Australia later this year. This is the only way to have reliable data on the scale of the business impact. Failure to do anything else would be irresponsible."
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