Australian tobacco packaging requirement may not work

30 Nov 2012

Australia cigarette packaging

As from next week, seek anyone in Australia selling cigarette packaging that does not meet the law could face major fines of up to AUD1.1m.  The country has led the world on making cigarette packaging as unattractive as possible but there are those that are finding their ways around it – and even to make a good profit out of it.

One way around the law is using boxes with plastic skins that hide the graphic images.

According to the Financial Times, malady BPM Innovations, launched such boxes two months ago and is unable to keep up with demand and is having to use air freight to bring the boxes in from China. The cases retail at around AUD4 (about EUR3) each.

The attacks on the packaging are only part of the overall thrust against smoking but according to the industry they are not working.  Imperial Tobacco Australia says that it has noted no fall in demand.

The packaging law effects all tobacco products so that cigars can no longer be sold in wooden boxes.

Small businesses are hit too as they are frightened of the fines and this has added to the workload of shopkeepers and kiosk owners.

The eyes of the world are now on Australia to see how this works out.  It may be that the anti smoking lobby has failed again to do something to stop this dangerous habit.

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