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  1. Andrew Bush,
  2. Ian Pavord, Editors

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Plain, Venal or Vapid?

The Reverend Sydney Smith remarked that he ‘must believe in the Apostolic succession, there being no other way of accounting for the descent of the Bishop of Exeter from Judas Iscariot’. The decision to exclude plain packaging of cigarettes from the Queen's speech suggests that this Apostolic succession is not confined to the episcopate. Everyone knows that legislating against smoking works and indeed in this issue, Sims et al (Hot Topic; see page 619) estimate nearly 2000 adult admissions from asthma attacks were prevented per year by the last round of smoke free legislation. Australia has introduced plain packaging—why not the UK? What possible down side (other than to the industry) is there to passing this measure? David Simpson, once Director-General of ASH (he of ‘giving Rothman's a Queen's Award for industry is like giving the top prize at Crufts to a rabid dog’ fame), suggested that one cannot do better than listen carefully to the tobacco industry and then do the opposite. We are reluctant …

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