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Plain packaging will boost sale of fake fags, warns Halesowen shopkeeper
11:18am Tuesday 30th October 2012 in News
PLANS to introduce compulsory plain packaging to all cigarette packs will make it easier for fake fags to be sold, a Halesowen retailer has warned.
Gurdev Singh fears the move will lead to counterfeit cigarettes flooding onto the black market from unscrupulous suppliers who have scant regard for the content.
Illicit tobacco products are often made in unsanitary conditions which affects their content, which has been found to include asbestos, rat droppings, human faeces, dead flies and mould.
Mr Singh, who runs the Windmill supermarket, in Windmill Hill, is also concerned that Government plans to put cigarettes out of view under the counter could put shopkeepers at risk.
“Someone could easily clobber you over the head while bending down, it could also lead to more shoplifting,” said Mr Singh.
He stressed that he was more than happy for people to quit smoking, but said he did not think the proposed measures would reduce the number of smokers.
“I am concerned that plain packaging will make it easier for unscrupulous producers to sell cigarettes made in unsanitary conditions and people will not know what they are smoking,” he added.
The Association of Convenience Stores is campaigning against the proposed changes, which it is estimated will cost retailers £37 million a year.