The health risks of smoking are very well known. Health Secretary John Reid was recently quoted in The Observer as saying: "To say that people don't understand the health risks associated with smoking, when on every single pack there are enormous health warnings, I just find that unbelievable."
We believe Governments have an important responsibility to educate the public about the health risks associated with smoking but feel picture warnings are unnecessary and even counter-productive as people tire of "shock tactics".
Already some smokers are hiding the enlarged black and white health warnings with decorated cardboard covers and humorous stickers, and we are even seeing the re-emergence of cigarette cases. If Governments or health groups are not satisfied with these health warnings then they can find other means of communicating with smokers which do not deface our packs.
We believe we are entitled to use our packs to remind our consumers that they have chosen our product and not a competitor’s. The Government’s ever increasing tendency to dictate what should be on our packs is taking this from us and our consumers.