Convenience Store is one of the many organisations to have submitted a response to the government’s consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco products. We have done it on your behalf, because it is the retail industry that has the most to lose from this latest state-sponsored assault on the tobacco sector.

It is tempting to call it mad legislation, but sadly, it’s deadly serious. There are even some rational and cynical reasons for the government to introduce it. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is under pressure from the medical profession - first for the NHS reforms and more recently for proposed changes to doctors’ pensions - so pushing some tough anti-tobacco legislation through could be seen as a good way to curry some favour.

I prefer not to take the cynical view, so have submitted a view to the government in the hope that they might listen about the damage this idea would cause, not just to retailing but to the country as a whole. You can read our full submission on our website later this week, and it’s not too late to put your own version in as well (the consultation is open until July 10, so you’ll have to be quick).

But, put simply, plain packaging is not a good way to change young people’s attitude towards tobacco, and it’s not a good way to protect the already stretched public purse. And, above all, it’s not good for business.