JTI has published the third phase of its high profile advertising campaign designed to dissuade government, businesses leaders and consumers from plain tobacco packaging.

The adverts, published in a wide range of major national newspaper and magazine titles, feature an email in which a member of the UK government’s Tobacco Policy Team states that “there isn’t any hard evidence to show that it (plain packaging) works.”

The email, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, was sent to an Australian government official in May 2011, and also asks for a cost analysis.

 “We are using this media campaign to demonstrate that in 2011 even the Department of Health accepted that these proposals are not supported by any hard evidence,” said JTI UK managing director Jorge da Motta.

“We hope common sense will prevail and that the government will disregard this proposal, before embarking on a process which will do nothing more than deprive the Treasury of much needed revenue and make hundreds of millions of pounds for the criminals who manufacture, distribute and sell illegal tobacco products.

“We have always argued that plain packaging will not prevent children from smoking, but enforcing existing initiatives such as ‘No ID, No Sale’, punishing those who buy tobacco on the behalf of children and cutting the illegal supply chain, can work.”