The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) is helping independent retailers respond to the UK Government’s plain packaging tobacco consultation with the launch of a new campaign ‘Plain Nonsense.’

The Edinburgh-based trade association is urging its members’ customers to register their opposition to plain packaging via a postcard, a new app, and online at

The campaign is focusing on four key points in its opposition to the UK Government’s proposals:

  • No Evidence: There is no credible evidence that plain packaging will have an impact on smoking rates.
  • Illicit Trade: Plain packaging would be a boost to smugglers and counterfeiters, taking business away from legitimate shops.
  • Confused Retailers: If every product looks the same it will be impossible to serve customers efficiently.
  • Confused Customers: Customers should be free to choose the products they want without difficulty.

SWA executive director Kate Salmon said the campaign aimed to protect the “small Scottish family businesses which operate independent retail stores the length and breadth of the country.”

“If plain packaging on tobacco products is introduced, it will constitute yet another burden on hard-pressed independent retailers who are already drowning in legislation and unnecessary bureaucracy,” she said.

“We are taking an exceptionally bold stance on this and have the full support of our members who do not want to see the introduction of any legislation that puts the future livelihoods of independent retailers at risk,” she added.