By Alicia Bolton
The Government’s decision to enforce plain cigarette packaging may fuel the underground market in illegal tobacco trade and products, the industry has warned.
Cheap contraband products known as ‘chop chop’ come from China, Indonesia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
British American Tobacco Australia is just one company fighting the Government’s plan to make producers use drab green coloured packaging on all products.
The company’s chief executive, David Crow, said there is no evidence the move will curb national smoking rates.
He said it will fuel the illegal trade of ‘chop chop’ in Australia, forcing the tobacco giants to reduce their prices.
“We can lower our pricing and still make a profit,” Mr Crow said.
Mr Crow said cheaper prices will lead to more people, including children, smoking.
“More tobacco at $5 a pack means increased usage,” Mr Crow said.
RELATED ARTICLE: Illegal tobacco market, Chapter 10.9, Tobacco In Australia, by the Cancer Council Victoria.