Young adult smokers’ perceptions of illicit tobacco and the possible impact of plain packaging on purchase behaviour

Apr 27, 2011

Editor’s Note:  The attached study by C. Moodie, G. Hastingsand L. Joossens, is predicated on the incorrect premise that “There is no evidence the counterfeiters are putting any great effort into pack quality, or getting it right.”   Although a full refutation of the basis for the study is beyond the scope of this Note, the  Cancer Council of Australia, has stated that “Counterfeit cigarettes are direct copies of legal cigarette brands, produced overseas then illegally imported into Australia and sold. The quality of counterfeit product varies, but some feature packaging that is almost indistinguishable from the genuine article. Many consumers are unaware that they have purchased a counterfeit product until they try it.” 


The Australian NGO also explained, in direct contradiction to the study, that “Illegal operations have acquired sophisticated tobacco manufacturing machinery to enable them to engage in the lucrative counterfeiting business. Many factories have made copies of this machinery, to further expand their operations. As some machines have production capacities of 2000 cigarettes per minute, the future ability of these manufacturers to flood the Australian market is clear.”  See,


A News Analysis in the April 2010 issue of Tobacco Control explained that ““Asking smokers to tell you if the pack they have is legal or illegal is simply useless.”  The article may be found here,



Thus, the premise and conclusions of Moodie, et al. study attached below are false.

Young adult smokers’ perceptions of illicit tobacco

No Responses so far

Leave a Feedback