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Forest Hands Off Our Packs Drum News

Smokers’ group Forest announces campaign team for Hands Off Our Packs

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

February 10, 2012 | 2 min read

Smokers’ group Forest has announced who will lead its Hands Off Our Packs campaign when it launches this month, against the plans to sell tobacco products in plain packaging.

Angela Harbutt, who has worked in the television broadcast industry for 20 years and has specialised in news and marketing, will lead the campaign.

Harbutt has also worked for Sir Menzies Campbell when he was leader of the Liberal Democrat party.

She said: “I am saddened that the Coalition Government is even considering plain packaging before the effects of the forthcoming tobacco display ban can be assessed.

“Plain packaging is not just an attack on the intellectual property rights of legitimate companies, it’s a direct assault on individual freedom and a smack in the face for millions of law-abiding consumers who don’t appreciate being denormalised and treated like second class citizens.

“Plain packaging is not just illiberal, it is likely to be counter-productive if the aim is to reduce smoking rates. I didn’t start smoking because I was attracted to the packaging and I don’t know anyone who did. If government insists on telling teenagers how to behave they are far more likely to rebel.”

Harbutt will be joined by Amul Pandya, a law graduate from Southampton University.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: “We are delighted to have recruited two highly accomplished campaigners. They are both passionate about this important issue and we look forward to working with them.”

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