The government has launched its consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco products to examine evidence on the promotional impact of packaging as well as look at competition, trade and legal considerations, and the impact on the illicit trade in tobacco.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said he welcomed the opportunity to set out reasons why plain packs will be a major burden to local shops. If every tobacco product looks the same it will be much harder for retailers and their staff to locate product on the shelf. This will make serving customers slower and make stock management harder. We also fear that consumers that are used to buying certain brands will react against plain packs and seek them out from the illegal trade."