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Published on : Oct 13, 2015

A public health research organization reported that four of the largest tobacco companies in the world have provided the U.K. government with substandard evidence. The move was allegedly made to cause a delay in the nation’s law for plain packaging.

According to the research organization, flawed or fake evidence was submitted by four companies in 2012. Philip Morris International Inc., Japan Tobacco International Inc., Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, and British American Tobacco PLC, had submitted the flawed evidence during a consultation on the introduction of cigarettes with standardized packaging, as reported by Institute for Policy Research of the University of Bath.

According to a spokesperson from the Imperial Tobacco, the smokers are being attacked in an unjustified and disproportionate manner by the new plain packaging law. This attack reached the smokers, the industry and also the whole supply chain for tobacco. He added that Imperial Tobacco is a legitimate stakeholder and will keep on expressing its views.

A BAT spokesperson later countered the University of Bath’s allegations by stating that their findings were alleged against the U.K. consultation after a majority of the content was retrieved from the Australian government, which is currently the only nation to have imposed a plain packaging law.

He added that the plain packaging law imposed in Australia is still failing to meet its specified objectives after its introduction in December 2012. Meanwhile, the data revealed by the Australian government displayed that smoking among the youth was at its highest in seven years and the overall effectiveness of health warnings had reduced.