The general manager of JTI Ireland, Igor Dzaja, has said that the Australian government should "own up" to the "failure" of its tobacco plain packaging initiative, so that other countries aren't "misled".
Dzaja was speaking on the third anniversary of the introduction of Australia’s controversial ‘plain’ packaging legislation, at a time when the Australian Department of Health (DoH) is reportedly pushing back the publication of a Post-Implementation Review (PIR).
“Anti-tobacco lobbyists have misrepresented the data to hide the fact that the ban on brands has failed”, Dzaja said. “Australia – the only country where the measure has been introduced – cannot be held up as a model for countries such as Ireland to follow.
“The DoH in Australia is desperate to prove the success of this policy, but all of the evidence – their own evidence – points to failure. The government should own up to this failure, and the PIR is an opportunity to do that. If this review is not completed and published soon, and if it is not compliant with the government’s own standards, other countries will be misled."
According to a National Drug Strategy Household Survey carried out in Australia in 2013, the branding ban led to no change to the pre-existing decline in smoking rates, JTI Ireland said in a statement.
It noted that minutes of an Australian Senate debate held in October highlighted the uneasiness surrounding the PIR, and the difficulty that the DoH is having in producing a report which complies with government guidelines.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones