Deliveries of tobacco to retailers in Australia rose slightly last year for the first time in at least five years, even after the introduction of plain packaging aimed at deterring smokers, according to industry sales figures to be released on Monday.
Australia, which in December 2012 became the first country to ban branded cigarette packs, is being closely watched for signs of success as other nations including Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom explore similar measures.
Britain last year appointed a respected paediatrician to examine whether plain packaging would reduce the health costs of smoking. The doctor’s report is expected this week.
In 2013, the first full year of plain packaging, tobacco companies sold the equivalent of 21.074 billion cigarettes in Australia, according to industry data provided by Marlboro maker Philip Morris International.
That marks a 0.3 per cent increase from 2012, and reverses four straight years of declines.
What a policy disaster! The situation of the ground must be even worse. These figures only include legal tobacco. So once we add on the illegal stuff – including the sophisticated counterfeiters I suspect tobacco consumption has increased substantially above the 0.3 per cent increase.