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Ilkley businessman to meet MPs over 'plain' cigarette packaging
9:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in Local news
Campaigners against enforcing the sale of tobacco products in plain packaging, who claim the move could threaten jobs in the district and increase the amount of imported counterfeit products, are urging an industry-related group of MPs to back their cause.
Former packaging industry executive Mike Ridgway, of Ilkley, who now speaks for seven producers, including Chesapeake Branded Packaging and Weidenhammer Packaging in Bradford, where he held senior roles, briefed the All Party Packaging Group.
Campaigners fear plain packaging would threaten jobs in the district and elsewhere across the industry, and could also lead to a big increase in counterfeit tobacco products in the UK, which already costs the Exchequer £3.5 billion a year, or £8.5 million a day, in lost taxes.
Mr Ridgway, who is an Ilkley Parish councillor, says the Government has not yet given feedback on last year’s consultation over the proposals due to the large number of responses and the Department of Health was now seeking meetings with interested parties.
He said: “The objective of the meeting is to explain that the manufacturing of tobacco packaging involves complexity not only in the printing but also the additional features that are incorporated into the design like embossing, de-bossing, hot foil stamping and special varnishes in addition to the construction of the pack.
“Should government plans lead to the elimination of these features, packaging would become a commodity, with counterfeiting and copying opening up the market to fake imported products.”