Morley shopkeeper’s fears over cigarette packaging changes

Mrs Nabu Patel in her shop.
Mrs Nabu Patel in her shop.

Plain packaging on cigarettes could have an impact on independently run newsagents in Morley, traders are claiming.

Shops around the town earn most of their income from selling tobacco products and owners are worried sales might drop if standardised packaging is approved by the government.

Cancer Research UK has been campaigning for changes to cigarette packages and last year the government ordered an independent review to look at the public health benefits of plain packaging.

The results, due out in March, could mean laws to introduce standardised packaging across the country.

Mrs Nabu Patel, who has run the Londis shop in Albert Drive for over 13 years, said: “We sell more cigarettes than anything else and if these changes come into action it will make a difference to us.

“I think people will be embarrassed to ask for cigarettes - it will make buying them awkward and it will affect our business.”

A ban on any packaging is currently in place in Australia and the government is being urged to look at the effects this ban has had.

Eoin Dardis, director of corporate affairs for cigarette manufacturer Phillip Morris, said data had shown Australian smokers did not appear to be quitting.

However, figures collected by Cancer Research UK say three quarters of people surveyed in Yokrshire agree that children should not be exposed to any tobacco marketing. Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco policy, said: “Marketing can be the first hook that draws young people into a lifetime of nicotine addiction, an addiction that ends in death for half of all long-term smokers

”Standardised packaging will give millions of children one less reason to start smoking.”