UK to ban cigarette packet branding

The government in the United Kingdom is banning branding on cigarette packets, a move that will reduce smoking, according to the health campaigners.
On the other hand, the opponents of the move argue that it restricts "commercial free speech" and would lead to increased smuggling. UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley remarked that eh along with other health ministers are obliged to look at steps that would encourage people to quit smoking and prevent young people from taking up the habit.
He was speaking at a public consultation on Monday amid growing controversy over the move. The opponents say that the government is behaving like a `nanny-state' by banning the branding on the packets. They also argue that the move will encourage black marketing and result in numerous job losses.
Conservative MP Mark Field expressed that the move will set a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech. He says that products with no products will also lead to other negative affects like health threat posed by counterfeit tobacco, black marketing as well as market defamation.
Meanwhile, Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs has described the ban as an unnecessary distraction.


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