Australia's largest tobacco franchise could be in breach of state tobacco laws
Rachel Wells of The Sydney Morning Herald wrote today:
Australia's largest tobacco franchise could be in breach of state
tobacco laws by giving away free cardboard covers designed to cover the
graphic imagery on plain cigarette packs.
The Tobacco Station Group, with more than 300 stores
nationally, is offering covers which feature the company's logo and
website address free of charge to customers who purchase tobacco
products in their outlets.
The federal Department of Health and Ageing is launching an
investigation to see if the products breach federal tobacco laws and has
advised its state and territory counterparts to do the same.
Under NSW's Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008, tobacco
retailers are not permitted to provide gifts or other benefits to
people who buy tobacco or non-tobacco smoking products.
"State and territories have enacted legislation prohibiting
promotional schemes for tobacco products, that is, offering gifts,
prizes . . . in association with the sale of tobacco products. It is
therefore a matter for consideration by states and territories," a
spokeswoman for the federal department said.
The Tobacco Station Group has confirmed the covers are
available at all TSG outlets and were designed to "enable customers to
express their identity with their cigarette packs".
"TSG are of the opinion that the cases comply with the new Australian plain packaging legislation," a spokeswoman said.
It is not the first time the federal government has
investigated a product designed to hide the shocking, graphic health
warnings on plain packs, which are three times larger than the previous
In December, a Gold Coast sticker manufacturing company
launched a range of custom stickers that wrap around cigarette packs.
The Box Wrap stickers with the marketing slogan, "It's your box, it's
your choice," feature a range of images including the Australian flag
and scantily-clad men and women.
In this instance, the department found the company was not in breach of federal tobacco laws.
* This number reflects the total amount of people who have signed up to support the plain packaging of tobacco products, via the Plain Packs Protect Partnership (logos below), British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK websites.