The Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has questioned the findings of a study by Cancer Council Australia, which suggested that the business of small retailers has been unaffected by the switch to plain packaging for tobacco products.
The study also claimed that there has not been a rise in illegal tobacco use, nor had smokers switched to more affordable, Asian-imported brands, as a result of the switch.
However, these claims have been disputed by AACS CEO, Jeff Rogut, who said “The additional costs that small retailers in Australia have been forced to absorb as a direct result of plain packaging have seriously impacted their bottom line.”
A report by Aztec illustrates that a total growth in tobacco consumption in Australia, over 12 months (ending June 2014), was driven by a growth in total sales by 61.7% from the sub-value segment of tobacco sales.
“As tobacco branding has been eroded, price has emerged as the main driver behind tobacco purchases. This is another unintended consequence of plain packaging and another example of what happens when legislation is introduced with no foundation in fact,” Rogut continued.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Emily Horne