CECCM calls for plain pack rethink

BRUSSELS: The Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers (CECCM) has today called on any European governments considering plain tobacco packaging to rethink their approach.

Speaking on the 1st anniversary of the French plain packaging law¹, Alisdair Gray, Secretary General of CECCM said: “Official sales of cigarettes in France have not shifted since the adoption of the law. Incredibly, France’s own Health Minister now publicly admits that plain packs do not stop smokers from smoking².

In France, where plain packaging has been in force since 1 January 2017, data published by the public authority OFDT³ indicates that tobacco products shipped to retailers have remained largely identical for the first nine months of 2017 (year on year).

Gray added: “The data clearly demonstrates that the introduction of plain packaging, even in combination with the EU Tobacco Products Directive, has failed to reduce sales of tobacco. In Australia, where the extreme measure has been in force for five years, the latest government data has shown a stall in the long-term downward trend in smoking, despite massive increases in excise.”

“The vast majority of EU countries are still unconvinced that plain packaging will work. Around a third of EU member states even raised concerns about the introduction of such pack changes when first proposed by the French government”.

It is high time for other governments to recognise that this form of heavy handed regulation simply does not work”.

 ENDS

1 http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/ta/ta0650.asp

2 http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/cri/2017-2018/20180075.asp#P1117662

3 https://www.ofdt.fr/statistiques-et-infographie/tableau-de-bord-tabac/