Sir: In response to your article (‘A step too far’, 11 August) it should be noted that, despite various pieces of anti-tobacco legislation in the past decade, the number of adult smokers has fallen by just 0.4% per annum.

As Martin Southgate from JTI suggests, this is because governments have spent too much time listening to anti-smoking campaign organisations - often funded by the taxpayer - and not enough time looking objectively at the evidence.

The consultation has generated in the region of half a million responses opposing the introduction of plain packaging, so we hope this government will listen carefully to the many critics of this ill-conceived proposal. The public clearly shares the view of retailers, shop workers, packaging companies, serving and retired police officers, business groups, trade unions, trade associations and many more who believe this is not just a step too far but will have serious unintended consequences.

The government should not be blindly led by those whose policies have so decisively failed to date.

Angela Harbutt, head, Hands Off Our Packs campaign