The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports measures to protect public health and recognizes the importance of reducing smoking rates. We also support the right of every legal business to use its brands free from state-sponsored trademark destruction, such as the imposition of “plain-packaging” laws that confuse consumers and stymie legitimate choices between brands. This is especially the case when there is no clear evidence that such destruction is an effective deterrent to smoking, notwithstanding The Post’s conclusion based on Australia’s plain-packaging rules [“Take the cool out of Kools,” editorial, July 21].
Commenting on data showing that fewer Australians are smoking daily, Geoff Neideck of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said last month, “[I]t would be a stretch to say this data shows that [plain packaging] was a key factor” in cutting the smoking rate. This is hardly the caliber of definitive argument that warrants strong support of plain packaging.
David Hirschmann, Washington
The writer is president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.