Government Urged to Reconsider Plans for Tobacco Plain Packs

ACS has called on the Department of Health to look again at the operational impact that plain tobacco packaging would have on retailers.

In its submission, ACS raises concerns that the operational burdens of standardized packaging on retailers have not been fully considered. ACS argues that the removal of branding on tobacco products would make those products more difficult to differentiate, increasing handling and transactions times at every stage.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “Plain tobacco packaging would inflict significant costs and operational burdens on retailers, and the Government needs to look at the business impact again with an open mind. The Government’s view that standardized packaging should be classified as ‘zero net cost’ is misguided.

“The health arguments for plain packaging remain weak, with the evidence from Australia suggesting that customers are down-trading to cheaper brands, but are not quitting smoking as a result.”

Earlier this month, the Regulatory Policy Committee raised a number of concerns about the Government’s Impact Assessment for the introduction of plain packs. In their Opinion, the RPC called on the Department of Health to look again at the implications of plain packaging on retailers and other businesses.

The ACS submission also argues against legislating for plain packaging before the effects of the tobacco display ban can be assessed.

Mr Lowman continued: “The tobacco display ban will come into force for smaller stores in April 2015. One of the justifications for the introduction of the display ban was that it would hide distinctive packaging from young people, yet before the ban is even implemented the Government is planning to make this packaging plain.”

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 06/08/2014 - 09:00