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Richard Branson takes on the tobacco giants

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Richard Branson, an ex-smoker, is demanding that the government do more to stop children being sucked into a "lethal addiction", according to a story in today’s Daily Mirror, and is backing a campaign by Cancer Research to protect children from tobacco marketing.

The Virgin boss is calling for a ban on cigarette vending machines and a move to plain packaging for all tobacco brands.

Branson says, "Getting rid of cigarette vending machines will help save lives. And plain packaging will help take the glitz and glamour out of tobacco."

The tobacco industry has hit back at the billionaire. Christopher Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association, says: "Plain packaging would prevent tobacco manufacturers from providing consumers with information about products that are legally available in retail outlets."

Will Branson win his war with the weed? Have your say in the Real Business forum.

Related articles Richard Branson Part 1: "UK firms must make their mark internationally!" Richard Branson Part 2: “Make Britain a great place to do business!”

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