The EU has now finalised the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which will cause more than 40% of current tobacco sales to be banned.
- KPMG found the tobacco black market in Australia has grown by 20% since plain packs were introduced
- The illicit brand Manchester has grown its market share to 1.5% Down Under
Suppliers are warning that by banning cigarette packs of less than 20, along with menthols and pouches of tobacco under 30g from 2016, the legislation will cause huge disruption to law-abiding retailers.
Daniel Torras, JTI UK managing director, said: “The EU’s decision is a gift for criminal gangs as more smokers who find that their preferred pack is no longer available will be tempted to buy illegal tobacco.
“Meanwhile, the UK Government’s exchequer will have to plug the financial gap left and thousands of legitimate businesses will suffer.”
In addition, he urged the Government to reconsider its position to proceed with plain packaging for tobacco, because the TPD already prescribes “excessive” graphic health warnings covering 65% of the front and back surface of the pack positioned at the top edge and 50% of the sides.