There is a huge problem of counterfeit tobacco on the streets which our enforcement agencies, including trading standards, are daily trying to combat. This illegal tobacco, which is being sold very cheaply, can contain pretty much anything and is produced in totally unregulated conditions.
Plain packaging, if introduced, would make the counterfeiting of existing packs much easier than it is now.
It would also attract new criminals into the market who currently do not have the expertise to counterfeit existing packs which are much more complicated to fake effectively.
What is more, these criminals will think nothing of offering their illegal tobacco to young people – the very people we are trying to protect.
Far better to strengthen the existing proof of registration schemes such as CitizenCard; outlaw the proxy purchasing of cigarettes in England as it is in Scotland; give more resources to our hard-pressed enforcement agencies; and stiffer penalties for the criminals involved in counterfeiting and smuggling.
This is before I even get to the impact that plain packaging would have on small shops like mine including longer transaction times and arduous stock-taking procedures.
It would be encouraging to see common sense prevail for once based on the best available evidence.
Suleman Khonat, address supplied
Fuel charges are no big surprise
This is part two of, ‘I don’t understand what’s going on’.
The other week there was a report by a whistleblower that the energy giants were in cahoots regarding price fixing. I don’t think I fell over in surprise. A whistleblower, mind you, not Ofgas or whoever is supposed to look after us! This government said they would look into this. They looked into it by stating they were going ahead with a green energy policy funded by levies from the energy companies, who would therefore have to raise energy prices to the consumer. The government did say that ‘in time’ this would lead to lower prices. And how many pensioners and poor families will be gone by then?
Is the world really obsessed by baby
Is the excessive nausea of Kate Middleton a reaction to the torrent of sycophancy spewed on her by a fawning media circus?
Their claims that the world has been awaiting the news of her pregnancy, will no doubt come as a surprise to 1.5bn Chinese.
As for the claim of the Prime Minister that they will make wonderful parents, he may be unaware that one budding grandfather was a serial adulterer.
Not to visit the sins of the father on the son, but he has followed somewhat in his footsteps, both being a life time recipient of state benefits. Are there any current statistics available on the number of women admitted to hospital suffering from morning sickness?
Denis Lee, Ashton