17.05.2018 JT International SA WKN
Wirtschaft ISIN
Plain Packaging on Tobacco Backfires Within First Year in the UK
Geneva (ots/PRNewswire) -

After Government U-Turned on its Commitment to Wait for Evidence
from Australia, New Research Shows UK Public Consider Plain Packaging
Ineffective and a Poor Use of Resources - Concerns it will Lead to an
Increase in Illegal Cigarettes

One year on from the controversial introduction of plain packaging
for tobacco in the UK, new research commissioned by JTI and conducted
by independent polling company Kantar TNS, reveals that the majority
of the UK public are not supportive of the policy.

(Logo:
https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/692561/JT_International_SA_Logo.jpg
)

In the largest public opinion poll of its kind since plain
packaging was introduced, research found that UK citizens are
concerned their government has imported a failed policy from
Australia[1] without fully evaluating the potential negative
consequences[2] :

- Almost two-thirds of the UK population believe that plain packaging
will not achieve its primary objective of reducing smoking rates
(65%) and is a poor use of government resources (65%).
- Three out of every five UK adults (58%) believe plain packaging
will lead to an increase in the number of illegal cigarettes sold
in the UK.
- If the UK Government had yet to decide on plain packaging and was
considering whether to introduce it today, 69% of UK adults believe
they should either reject the policy (35%) or wait for more
evidence of its effectiveness from Australia (34%).
- 72% of respondents believe the government would either a) fix a
policy review / ignore evidence that went against a preferred
policy (29%), or b) be reluctant to change their preferred policy
if the evidence was weighted against it (43%).

Respondents are also critical of how the Bill became law:

- 68% think the Government changed the decision-making requirements
it had previously set out in order to push it through.
- 72% think it was important for the government to research the links
between illegal tobacco and terrorist organizations.

One year in, the latest data shows no impact on tobacco sales or
smoking rates in the UK[3] and counterfeit plain packs were
discovered on the high street as early as one month after the
implementation of plain packaging.[4] An analysis conducted by JTI on
UK counterfeit samples shows that tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide
levels far exceed those allowed in the country. But this is only the
tip of the iceberg: in some cases, counterfeits have been found to
contain heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead[5], along with
other toxic contaminants: asbestos, mold, dust, dead flies, rat
droppings - and even human excrement.[6]

"Plain packaging is failing in the UK, as it has in Australia and
France[7], and as we always warned that it would," states Jonathan
Duce, Head of External Communications at JTI's global headquarters in
Geneva. "Rather than wait for results to emerge from Australia - as
originally committed to by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt - the
government pushed through a policy without waiting for hard evidence
or research into the consequences. Plain packaging should never have
been introduced in the UK, and other governments considering the
measure should think twice before importing this failed experiment."

References

1. In Australia, which pioneered plain packaging in December 2012,
latest Government data shows that the long-term decline in smoking
rates has now stalled: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use
-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/contents/highlights-from-the-201
6-survey
2. After Australia implemented plain packaging, illegal tobacco sales
went up by 30%. The overall illegal market is now at 15% - the
country's highest level on record: See "Illicit Tobacco in
Australia: 2017 Full Year Report", KPMG, April 2018: https://asset
s.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/uk/pdf/2018/05/australia_illicit_tobac
co_report_2017.pdf .
3. The scale of illegal tobacco in Australia - and related criminal
activity - has forced the government to set up a multi-agency
'Tobacco TaskForce': https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gover
nment-butt-squad-to-chase-billions-in-criminal-tobacco-fraud-20180
505-p4zdiv.html
4. "TPD2 and standardized tobacco packaging - What impacts have they
had so far?", Europe Economics, May 2018:
http://www.europe-economics.com/publications/15/publications.htm -
Data on smoking rates for England, considered as representative
for the UK.
5. "EXCLUSIVE: First Fake Plain Packs Discovered, Rogue Retailers
Making 'Small Fortune' ", BetterRetailing.com, November 10, 2017:
https://www.betterretailing.com/first-fake-plain-packs-discovered
.
6. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/sniffer-dogs-with-gopro-bod
ycams-help-find-30000-fake-cigarettes-in-soho-a3547241.html
7. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/illegal-tobacco-tainted-by-asbe
stos-and-rats-s2fpnsx26
8. In France, the second country to implement plain packaging four
months before the UK, Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn admitted that
plain packaging doesn't stop people from smoking and that she was
against it from the outset: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/c
ri/2017-2018/20180075.asp#P1117763 [
http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/cri/2017-2018/20180075.asp]

Data published by the French Observatory for Drugs and Addiction
shows that one full year after the implementation of the policy,
tobacco products shipped to retailers (cigarettes and RYO/MYO) were
broadly stable in France, with only a slight evolution of -0.7% in
volume, following a 1.3% increase in sales during the first half of
the year: https://www.ofdt.fr/ofdt/fr/tt171225.pdf

Note to editors

Methodology:

2,464 interviews were conducted online among adults living in
Great Britain between 12th to 19th April 2018. Interviews were
conducted using the Kantar TNS Research Express, which uses the
Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

About Research Express

Research Express provides quick, reliable market research. Our
scale and advanced operational capabilities saves our clients both
time and money. Research Express is part of Kantar TNS.

About Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS is one of the world's largest research agencies with
experts in over 90 countries. With expertise in innovation, brand and
communication, shopper activation and customer experience, we help
our clients identify, optimise and activate the moments that matter
to drive growth for their business. We are part of Kantar, one of the
world's leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Find out
more at http://www.tnsglobal.com.

About JTI

JTI is a leading international tobacco company with operations in
more than 130 countries. It is the global owner of both Winston, the
number two cigarette brand in the world, and Camel outside the USA
and has the largest share in sales for both brands. Other global
brands include Mevius and LD. With its internationally recognized
brand Logic, JTI is also a major player in the e-cigarette market and
has, since 2011, been present in the heated tobacco category with
Ploom. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the company employs
close to 40,000 people and was awarded Global Top Employer for four
consecutive years. JTI is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of
Companies. For more information, visit http://www.jti.com.

Full report available here (https://www.jti.com/about-us/our-busin
ess/key-regulatory-submissions).

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