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Cigarette legislation criticised

Online Cigarettes Smoking Plans to ban menthol cigarettes and require anti-smoking warnings to cover 75% of cigarette packets have been criticised by local MEP Paul Nuttall.

Draft EU legislation over cigarette packet branding will enable member states, including Britain, to go even further and also impose plain packaging, completely removing branding.

"Those who think it will deter smokers need to think again," said Mr Nuttall, UKIP Deputy Leader.

"Research shows that ironically plain packaging is more likely to lead to more tobacco consumption.

"Removing brand imagery leads consumers to shift their preferences away from premium brands towards cheaper alternatives which would make cigarettes more affordable and consumption would rise.

Mr Nuttall continued, "Also plain packaging will be easier to counterfeit and so the black market will increase.

"Menthol cigarette flavouring is lined up to be prohibited and a 'de facto' ban on electronic cigarettes is proposed. They will have to be authorised as 'medicinal products'.

''I find this particularly crazy as e-cigarettes are healthier alternatives to smoking. And, as I have previously said, the European Commission will not stop here, next it will be alcohol and foods," said Mr Nuttall.