Mr. Speaker, I apologize if I seem to be waffling about my position on this.
During my speech, I thought I had made it pretty clear that going to plain packaging, going to plain tubes with no branding whatsoever puts the customer, and indeed the retailer, in a very vulnerable position. They have no way to determine that what they are buying or, in the case of the retailer, selling, is the product that they think they are getting. There will be no way for law enforcement to determine whether these are legal products or not without extensive analysis, and even then it would be limited.
There would be no branding, so the government would be stripping away the intellectual property rights of companies. More importantly, it would be stripping away the rights of consumers to know that what they are buying is what they think they are buying and what they are paying for.
Generic packaging would lead to a dramatic surge in the contraband business. That is not in anyone's interest whatsoever, anyone who wants to be a law-abiding citizen or indeed a law-abiding government. There are a whole lot of reasons why contraband tobacco is a very dangerous thing, not just to the consumers but to the communities in which they operate.
Therefore, I have some terrible concerns about what the government is doing. If it really wants to give a gift to the contraband tobacco industry, this bill is the best thing it could ever hope to present.