Quit renews calls for plain packaging on cigarettes, following court action against British American Tobacco

Wednesday 15 November, 2006

Quit has renewed calls for plain packaging on cigarettes in the wake of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) announcement that it will be taking British American Tobacco to court over their ‘kiddie' packs.

Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said allegations British American Tobacco had breached the Trade Practices Act by selling cigarettes in "kiddie packs" show the tobacco industry are willing to exploit the pack in anyway possible to attract a new generation of smokers.

"As other forms of tobacco advertising have been shut down the tobacco industry has become increasingly dependent on the pack as a means to lure potential new smokers into buying their products."

"The only way to effectively deal with this problem is force the tobacco industry to adopt plain packaging."

Mr Harper said British American Tobacco wasn't alone in devising sneaky methods to manipulate the pack design, using colour and shape, to undermine new graphic health warnings and create additional space to advertise to smokers.

"We are continually seeing new tobacco products come into the market that use creative packaging to make their deadly products seem more attractive, or in some cases less harmful."

Mr Harper said only this week one of the most popular brands has appeared with new packaging and an insert proclaiming ‘Charcoal makes it..... smooth as.'

"It is disgraceful that any company would attempt to weaken the new graphic health warnings by putting a message that is essentially promoting smoking within a cigarette pack."

"Graphic warnings are particularly effective for younger smokers so we need to be very wary of any company that might be looking to reduce the impact of warnings by using new packaging designs or gimmicks."

"If cigarettes had plain packaging we would be closing off a major avenue for aggressive tobacco industry tactics that currently use the pack as the primary method of promotion."

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

Search