Anti-smokers fume at cheap price plan

ANTI-SMOKING groups have slammed the tobacco industry’s threat to drop the price of cigarettes as a response to proposed plain packaging reforms.

David Crow, chief executive of British American Tobacco (BAT) Australia, has warned that organised crime could profit from the government’s plain packaging plan.

“When all cigarette packs look the same and lose their trademarks and distinguishing features, counterfeiters will have a field day mass producing packets to smuggle into Australia,” he said.

Stafford Sanders, spokesman of the Protecting Children from Tobacco lobby group, said the tobacco industry was running scared.

Anti-smokers fume at cheap price plan

Anti-smokers fume at cheap price plan

He said the anti-smoking lobby group had 42 members as diverse as SIDS and Kids, NSW Council of Churches, Australian Council of Social Service, and the Cancer Council Australia.

“We’ve won the fight to get tobacco out of sight in retail outlets across Australia,” Mr Sanders said.

“Now the attention has switched to the campaign for plain packaging; all our organisations support that.”

“In my view the tobacco industry’s biggest lie is their nonsense about adult choices and the nanny state,” Mr Sanders said.

He said that the tobacco industry was targeting young people by associating their products with music, fashion and sport.

“We want them to back off and leave our children alone,” he said.

“Any society worth its salt protects its children.”

Dr Wayne Cooper, chair of the St George Division of General Practice, said cheaper cigarettes would be disastrous.

“If you lower the price, it makes it more accessible, and for people who do smoke it makes it easier.

“I think plain packets are a good move; we need to make the item less attractive visually — this will help the push to get people to give up cigarettes.”

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