"Campaigners raise alarm over tobacco giants' lobbying against plain packaging"
"Anti-smoking campaigners have expressed alarm that "big tobacco" has been employing two of the world's most powerful lobbying companies in a bid to stymie the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.
Crosby Textor, which has been hired by the Conservative party to provide "strategic direction" at the next election, has played a powerful behind-the-scenes role in mobilising opposition to the Australian government's plans for plain packaging, which became law on Saturday.
Tobacco giants fear that the landmark law, which they tried to thwart by funnelling millions of pounds into an array of front groups purportedly representing small shopkeepers, will be copied around the world. The UK government has concluded a consultation on the issue and will report next year. Many other countries are studying Australia's decision closely."
Author: Jamie Doward
Publication: The Guardian
Publication date: 2 Dec 2012