Lifestyle Economics

Two years on, all evidence shows that plain packaging has failed in Australia


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Plain packaging has failed to have any effect on smoking rates

Commenting on the two two year anniversary of plain packaging in Australia, Christopher Snowdon, Director of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Plain packaging assumes that people start smoking as a result of seeing logos and colour schemes. As any smoker knows, this is not true and it is therefore no surprise that plain packaging has failed to have any effect on smoking rates.

“There has been no acceleration in the decline in adult smoking and youth smoking appears to have risen. Illegal tobacco now makes up 14.3 per cent of the Australian market and costs the government $1.2 billion. This is a shockingly large black market for an island continent that has no land borders.”

Notes to Editors:

To arrange an interview please contact Camilla Goodwin, Communications Officer: 07821 971 443

For more information on Australia’s illegal tobacco problem, see this KPMG report.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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