The Chantler review does not justify plain packaging, and there is no credible evidence to suggest it will work now or in the future, stressed Daniel Torras, MD of JTI UK, in the wake of today’s Government announcement about packaging regulations.

"Nothing has changed since last summer when the Prime Minister said ’there isn’t yet sufficient evidence for it and there is considerable legal uncertainty about it’," said Torras.

"The Chantler report explicitly references the ’limitations’ of the evidence presented by a small group of tobacco control lobbyists. The latest reports from Australia indicate that plain packaging has had no positive impact at all and that the illegal trade is increasing. For the Chantler review to discount the only ’real world’ evidence available is inexplicable."

“A thorough independent impact assessment of the economic consequences on businesses large and small is essential to restore confidence in the regulatory process. The Government must consider the impact that plain packaging could have on the thriving illegal trade in the UK and give time to assess the relevance of plain packaging given a complete retail display ban from early 2015 and the European Tobacco Products Directive, which is set to increase the size of health warnings on packs to 65% and ban packs of 10."

"The Chantler report does not and could not justify the deprivation of assets that are worth billions of pounds. In 2007 Japan Tobacco bought Gallaher, for £9.4bn, which demonstrates the significant value of our brands and the company. The introduction of plain packaging would be unlawful as it unjustifiably infringes a number of JTI’s fundamental legal rights which are protected by UK, EU and international law, including its right to property, freedom of expression and freedom of trade."