The first counterfeit plain packs of tobacco have been found at various locations across the UK.
At the time of the government policy proposals the TRA, and others, warned about the issues of easier counterfeiting of tobacco products when there is uniformed (i.e. standardised) packaging dictated by the state's legislation. The TRA along with others were accused of lying and scaremongering whilst being in the hands of the tobacco industry. Now that these counterfeit tobacco packs have become reality and they are entirely unrecognisable from the legal plain packs, how do policy makers who stubbornly pursued bad policy and actively helped made it a law intend to tackle this problem? How will they help legitimate and legal businesses to protect themselves as well as their customers from illegal tobacco in plain packaging? Small independent tobacco retailers do not have the means to recognise which is which.
The TRA is asking the Health Minister for an answer to an entirely predictable and growing problem that his Department, the then government collectively and many other MPs by voting for it, created in the first place. The letter can be read here: 1870_001_Letter to Minister Steve Brine MP Nov 2017
We will be hoping for a clear and sensible response.