Smokers groups start 'coalition of the sane'

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Smokers' rights groups and libertarians feel anti-smoking campaigners are going too far
Smokers' rights groups and libertarians feel anti-smoking campaigners are going too far

Groups supporting the rights of people to smoke have started a 'coalition of the sane', as they try to prevent the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

The libertarian Freedom Association has joined smoker's rights groups like Forest in a last-ditch effort to prevent the move, despite polls showing widespread public support for the idea.

"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," Simon Richards, director of The Freedom Association, said.

"Freedom to advertise and promote one's own products and services is a fundamental part of a free society. It is no coincidence that such freedom does not exist in totalitarian regimes such as North Korea."


Supporters of the move, which was first suggested by Labour and taken up by the coalition, say 98% of respondents to the public consultation backed the measure and that most opponents have undisclosed links to the tobacco industry.

A rent survey by YouGov poll for the Observer also showed widespread public support, with 62% of respondents backing the idea and 11% opposed.


 

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