April 21, 2011

Retailers not rapt by packaging (Australia)

From: CityNews

RETAILERS are concerned new laws mandating plain cigarette packaging will hurt business but anti-smoking groups say the changes are necessary.

Kristina Cowen owns two newsagencies in the city and said ordering and serving with identical packs would be difficult.

“It’s very unnecessary, given that they already go undercover, and just adds to the pressure of serving customers in a timely fashion,” Ms Cowen said.

She said the extra time serving would impact on her bottom line.

Team leader of tobacco programs at Cancer Council Queensland Rachel Hull said the packaging was a still key way tobacco companies marketed to smokers.

“They use colour and images and brand recognition to promote a particular personality of the user of that product, so this will take away the last remaining form of advertising,” Ms Hull said.

The proposed legislation also increases the size of the graphic pictures on packs to three-quarters of the front and 90 per cent of the back.

British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre said they had concerns that counterfeit cigarettes would be easier to produce.

“It provides a blueprint for criminals to make illegal cigarettes as they now have the exact specifications to produce and import them into the country,” Mr McIntyre said.

Ms Hull said the government has measures to deal with this and said it was just a tactic used by the industry to stop the legislation.

The new regulations were announced by the federal government on April 7.

Australia is the first country in the world to make this commitment and the laws will come into effect on July 1 next year.

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