Plain packaging will ‘play into the hands of tobacco smugglers’, says independent retailers

From: Talking Retail

Members of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance (TRA) have reiterated their concerns about the plain packaging of tobacco as a court in Australia endorses its government’s move to introduce plain packaging in the country on 1 December, despite claims the move would breach trademark rights.

Debbie Corris, a Whitstable retailer and the National Spokeswoman for TRA, said: “There is no credible evidence that introducing plain packaging would reduce levels of youth smoking. What there is evidence of is that young people take up smoking because of peer pressure or because a family member smokes.

“Introducing plain packaging will also play into the hands of tobacco smugglers as no longer will they have to spend time and money copying the intricate detail on the variety of current tobacco packaging. All they will need do is to copy one generic pack and hey presto, off they go about their business of diverting sales away from legitimate retailers like me, introducing additional crime into local communities and funding other organised criminal activities, such as drugs trafficking and prostitution.”

A recent poll found that 86% of serving police officers in the UK found that plain packaging would increase tobacco smuggling.



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