| -2°C Dublin

Consumer choice 'would be based on price alone'

THE price of cigarettes could be driven down by the introduction of plain packaging, it has been claimed.

The move has been introduced by the Government with the intention of counteracting the unhealthy habit and encouraging people to give up.

However, experts have warned the design industry might face job losses, and cigarette prices could fall.

"Without individual packaging, some consumers' brand loyalty would cease to exist and consumers' purchasing would be based on price alone," said Tony Enoch,creative partner of Nude Brand Consulting, a UK graphic design agency.


"This would drive the price down, making it far more accessible for young people to buy, and counteracting the heavy taxing of tobacco to discourage purchase."

In a letter addressed to the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton last November, Mr Enoch wrote: "60pc of our work is in branding tobacco products for Japanese Tobacco International," Mr Enoch added.

Plain packaging has been introduced in Australia and has drawn objections from the World Trade Organisation, and critics argue that the measure is "too drastic to meet the objective of protecting health", and it could be "counter-productive by making counterfeiting easier and cheaper."