Quit has welcomed news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action against the tobacco company responsible for introducing ‘kiddie' packs into the Australian market.
The action follows a complaint made by Quit to the ACCC about the design of a new ‘kiddie' share pack, which does not carry the required graphic health warnings and therefore may be in breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).
Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said the action taken by the ACCC sent a clear message to Big Tobacco, that exploiting a cigarette pack to try and undermine graphic health warnings and attract the youth market would no longer be tolerated.
"These new ‘kiddie' share packs, which feature perforations that separate a standard-sized cigarette pack into two mini-packs, are clearly a deliberate strategy to reach the extremely price conscious youth market."
"We know that 40% of Australian students who are current smokers get their cigarettes from friends. This new pack exploits this and makes it much easier for young people to share cigarettes and their cost amongst their peer group."
"The introduction of this pack by British American Tobacco Australia Limited is further proof of the need to scrutinize the activities of the tobacco industry, especially given they are constantly devising new and more devious ways to attract a youthful generation of smokers to their deadly product."
"The tobacco industry treats the pack as free advertising space, and the fact that they would use this space to target young people is inexcusable."
Mr Harper said the ‘kiddie' share packs not only provide young people with access to cheap cigarettes, but also water down new graphic health warnings.
"Graphic health warnings are a strong motivating factor in encouraging smokers to quit."
"Introducing a pack that when separated as intended does not carry the required graphic health warnings is a brazen attempt to deny smokers information about the devastating health consequences of smoking, and to undermine the effectiveness of the warnings.
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