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Cigarette packets could be stripped of all branding following a consultation, the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has revealed. The minister said that he was “open minded” about putting the idea of plain Cigarette packaging to the public, but added: “We don’t work in partnership with the tobacco companies Because we are trying to arrive at a point where they have no business in this country.” Deborah Arnott, of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “The consultation is just the first step, putting us In pole position to be the first European nation to put tobacco in plain, standardised packs. “Cigarettes are Not like sweets or toys and should not be sold in colourful packaging which makes them appealing to Children. Cigarettes are full of toxins and cause fatal diseases: plain, standardised packaging makes this Explicit.” But pro-smoking group Forest, the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, has Launched a Hands Off Our Packs (Hoops) campaign. Director Simon Clark has described plain packaging As “the persecution of a minority lifestyle choice”. He said: “Plain packaging is yet another attack on Retailers and adult consumers.” The move comes a week after a law on tobacco promotion in England came into force, requiring all large Shops and supermarkets to cover up cigarettes and hide tobacco products from public view. Lansley, who Said that all levels of smoking are harmful, added that the ban on displaying cigarettes was part of a move To ensure “we no longer see smoking as a part of life.”

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