Plain-pack cigarettes ‘a smugglers’ charter’

From: Belfast Telegraph

By Steven Alexander

A former senior police officer in Northern Ireland has warned that plans to  introduce plain packaging for cigarettes could amount to a smugglers’ charter.

Peter Sheridan, a former PSNI Assistant Chief Constable with 30 years’ experience, said the introduction of plain packaging would make it more  difficult for police to detect counterfeit cigarettes.

A UK-wide consultation launched in May asked the public whether tobacco  packaging should be changed or if a different option should be considered.  Health Minister Edwin Poots has backed plain packaging.

But Mr Sheridan, now the boss of peace-building group Co-operation Ireland,  said that “all too often people with good intentions don’t stop to think about  the wider impact their policies will have”.

“My fear is that introducing plain packaging for cigarettes will make life  easier for criminals — instead of having 200 different designs of packs to copy  there would be just one,” he said. “Plain packets could be a smugglers’  charter.”


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