Plain packs New Zealand, however, seem to think that is entirely irrelevant despite responses being overwhelmingly in favour of ditching the idea. They are very forthright in stating exactly what our government is planning to do. Publicly.
Now, either they are lying the big one to their followers (not easily dismissable, it's what tobacco control do) or they have received information from someone in the know who is not only blithely dismissive of democratic process, but also obviously quite corrupt.
Consider, too, a tweet from Simon Chapman in June - who, remember, lives 10,000 miles away - which states with absolute certainty that those opposing plain packs are universally dodgy.
Again, this is news to anyone who was following the debate in this country, yet conveniently came just a few days after Andrew Black of the Department of Health had written to Simon Clark of Forest about something he claimed to have seen. Not that anyone here knew that at the time, of course.
Chapman offered no link, nor was there any news coverage anywhere of this 'story'. In fact, it wasn't until three months later on the 13th September that the allegations were placed on the Department of Health website surrounding something the department's dedicated Aussie anti-smoker - Andrew Black - says he saw just a few days before Chapman's tweet. Uncannily enough, it concerned "screeds of made up names" being collected. What a coincidence!
How on earth, in June, did Simon Chapman become the only person in the world outside the Department of Health to know what was going on? The Guardian and Independent - the usual cheerleaders - were entirely oblivious, as were the rest of the global press. Yet Chapman looked in his crystal ball and there it was ... a moving picture of what was happening at a London rail hub.
Hey! There's probably a perfectly innocent explanation. Chapman perhaps had had a few glasses of Shiraz and let his imagination run away with him. Maybe the NZ plain packs lot did the same, I dunno.
The alternative - which is uncomfortable to contemplate - is that some unscrupulous soul within the Department of Health is regularly in contact with the other side of the world, passing on info which British voters are not privy to, in order to help influence opinion elsewhere. Oh yeah, and spending our taxes in doing so.
If there was an Aussie or New Zealander at the Department of Health in a position of authority concerning tobacco policy - who was bypassing democratic process by leaking info in advance of government policy - it might be a story which would be worth a newspaper pursuing. Lucky that isn't the case and they're all responsible and professional at the Department of Health then, eh?