Euro MP backs challenge by tobacco firms

Paul Nuttall

Paul Nuttall

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A legal challenge by major tobacco firms against the government’s plain packaging rules is being supported by Fylde Euro MP Paul Nuttall.

The regulations banning companies from using any logos or branding on packets of tobacco products are due to come into force from May next year.

The firms are arguing it will unlawfully take away their trademark intellectual property while the government claims it will discourage more people from smoking

Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader

Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader, said: “The firms are arguing it will unlawfully take away their trademark intellectual property while the government claims it will discourage more people from smoking.

“One of my concerns is this plain packaging will put people at greater risk of harm as there will be no way for consumers to know for sure whether the contents are genuine or counterfeit.

“People always like ‘a bargain’ and if offered tobacco products at a low price they are likely to snap them up but the contents could be completely unmonitored.

“The other important issue that greatly concerns me is the plan infringes the principle of personal choice. I would never advocate smoking but individuals must have freedom of choice.”

Mr Nuttall also questions whether the move will deter people from smoking.