A new study in Australia reveals that there is “no evidence” that plain packaging for cigarettes had an impact to smokers.
Success of Policy
Researchers, who published their work in BMJ Open, discovered that there is no significant increase in the use of illegal cigarettes and no sign that it has driven smokers to buy cheaper brands.
The findings put an end to accusations by tobacco companies that plain packaging would only encourage people to use illegal cigarettes and hurt local retailers.
Australia is the world’s first country to implement standardized packaging laws for tobacco products, in an attempt to reduce smoking rates.
Other Side of the Story
Meanwhile, some tobacco manufacturers argued that other reports had different conclusions.
They consistently claimed that the country’s policy would just lead to a boom for black market.
“A KPMG report found clear evidence that illicit trade has grown since the introduction of plain packaging in Australia. That report was based on hard data not anecdotal evidence,” said Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign.
“A recent investigation by a national newspaper suggested that criminal gangs in the Far East can’t wait to profit from increased sales of counterfeit cigarettes in the UK if plain packaging is implemented here.”