Key goes cold on plain packs

17:00, Jul 24 2012

The Government is shifting still further away from a plain packaging tobacco proposal, as a new report emerges describing it as "the most material outstanding threat" to the tobacco industry.

Prime Minister John Key initially pledged "genuine consultation" on a paper proposing plain packaging that was released on Monday - a view backed yesterday by Labour leader David Shearer.

But Mr Key appeared less enthusiastic yesterday.

"I don't see it as critically important as raising the price - I think that's more likely to have an impact . . . Yes it's important but I wouldn't die in a ditch over it," he said.

The report on plain packaging prepared by the German Berenberg Bank describes the policy as "the most material outstanding threat" to the tobacco industry.

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