Tobacco manufacturer JTI is launching a multi-million pound media campaign against plans to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.

Launching across a broad spectrum of key UK-wide publications this weekend, the campaign will seek to educate key business decision makers and government of the “misconceived and outdated” notions surrounding smoking, and the lack of evidence that plain packaging would reduce smoking.

The harm that plain packaging would inflict on retailers, and the illicit trade threat, will also form a key focus of the campaign in the coming months.

The adverts will simply convey solid facts JTI managing director Martin Southgate said. “What you will not get from us is emotion or lectures. We are introducing this campaign because we want to share our views in an open and transparent way. We are not going to hide behind any other group or organisation. We want to make a stand against these entirely disproportionate measures which are not based on evidence and will not work. We have a right to compete for market share, and that is what we are after; market share, not non-smokers, not young people.

“If we succeed in propelling intelligent arguments to the surface we will all benefit from it. Hopefully the Department of Health will re-think it’s approach and common sense will prevail,” Southgate added.

Earlier this week the government announced an extension to the consultation by one month until Friday August 10.