Fresh from its first round success, JTI is launching the second phase of its high profile media campaign against the government’s plain packaging proposals.

Launching this weekend across a range of national and regional print media titles, it will focus on the negative impact that plain packaging would have on the illicit trade and small businesses.

It has been timed to coincide with the political party conference season, where the economy and business is set to dominate the agenda.

JTI UK managing director Martin Southgate said the proposals threatened small businesses, and particularly convenience stores, in their most vulnerable hour.

“Tobacco is a key driver of turnover and footfall for community stores. Our campaign will therefore focus on explaining the issues, how the illegal trade in tobacco products is already affecting retailers, and how it could get worse,” he added.

“The UK is meant to be open for business and growth is meant to be the government’s top priority. Plain packaging will seriously undermine that”.

Launched back in July, the first phase of JTI’s campaign succeeded in prompting some members of parliament to question the plans.