New figures show illegal tobacco rises nearly 18% in Australia

Examples of 'plain packaging' used in Australia
Examples of 'plain packaging' used in Australia

NFRN Ireland says introduction of plain packaging in Ireland is 'pure madness' in aftermath of Australian results



23 April 2014

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A new report published in Australia shows that the black market in illegal tobacco grew by nearly 18% since plain packaging of cigarettes was introduced in late 2012.

The full year report for 2013 was prepared by KPMG UK which found that the illegal tobacco rate was 11.8% in 2012. However the rate has grown by over two percentage points to 13.9% in just one year. This is the highest ever recorded illegal rate in Australia.

The report also found that the Australian government and taxpayers are losing the equivalent of €750 million to tobacco smugglers each year as a result.

NFRN Ireland president, Peter Steemers said: "All the emerging hard evidence from Australia is that plain packaging has boosted the illegal trade. In Ireland we already have one of the largest illicit tobacco markets in Europe, yet our government seems determined to compound this problem by introducing plain packaging. It is pure madness.

"The government has turned a deaf ear to the legitimate concerns of shop-owners. This latest report supports our view that evidence and logic have been discarded in Ireland in a rush to introduce a policy which has shown no evidence of success since its introduction in Australia 18 months ago.

"The proposed policy in Ireland is driven by emotion and advocacy, not facts."



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