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Big tobacco attempting to avoid plain packaging laws?


31 May 2012

The AMA says moves by Imperial Tobacco brand Peter Stuyvesant to distribute branded metallic display tins could be viewed as ‘cynical’. The move comes as tobacco companies prepare for federal legislation which will outlaw the branding of cigarette packets and logos.

‘This is a cynical move by big tobacco, it appears to be designed to get around legislation on plain packaging’ said AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis.

‘We’ve seen big tobacco fight tooth and nail against the legislation and it comes as
no surprise that they would attempt find ways around it’.

Cigarette packaging has become a critical marketing tool for tobacco companies
as the pack design is used to create expectations in the consumer about the product.

People who smoke cigarettes demonstrate high brand loyalty so packaging that
promotes the purchase of a certain brand is a critical tool to increase market share.

‘By using the packet as a billboard, the manufacturers are using one of the last
remaining avenues open to them to promote their product’.

AMA Victoria, along with Quit, the Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation has been calling for a State-wide ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas and other outdoor public areas.

‘Anything we can do to reduce the use of tobacco products in our communities is worth doing; it is especially relevant to remember this today given it is World No Tobacco Day’.

Dr Parnis described the medical evidence on the dangers of passive smoking as ‘overwhelming’.

‘Even brief exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and acute cardiac events’.

‘Secondhand smoke may bring on acute health events like asthma, wheezing, nasal, throat and sinus irritation’.

‘Given today is World No Tobacco Day, it’s a great time for the Government and community to consider how we can reduce instances of passive smoking’ said Dr Parnis.

For more information please contact Media and Public Affairs Officer Struan Robertson on 0437 450 506

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