Manufacturing News

British American Tobacco breaches plain packaging laws

British American Tobacco has been breaching the federal government’s plain packaging laws for cigarettes.

The ABC and others report that three-letter abbreviations appearing on BAT cigarettes, shorthand representations of locations, have been criticised by the government.

"They have letters on them like NYC, LDN for London, SYD for Sydney, AUS for Australia, we think those sort of letter tags suggest some meaning to people who are smoking," health minister Tanya Plibersek told the ABC.

The ringed watermarking on cigarettes also flout laws, which require plain paper.

"It's a sort of watermark in the paper of some of the cigarettes. We believe that it is a breach,” said Plibersek.

Under laws that survived a High Court challenge from tobacco companies earlier this year, cigarettes may only be marked with alpha-numeric codes for manufacturing and recall purposes, and no logos may appear on a drably coloured cigarette box, three-quarters of which must be covered with health warnings

The plain packaging laws take effect on December 1. Retailers can be fined $1 million for selling branded tobacco and manufacturers face fines of up to $100 million.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that a Sydney company, BPM Innovations, is profiting handsomely by selling plastic skins covering cigarette boxes and obscuring the graphic health warnings.

“Since we launched the boxes in September, we’ve sold 24,000,” said Dean Osmond, BPM’s managing director.

The cases retail for $4 and are manufactured in China.

“We’ve just opened the moulds for four different shapes and five new designs,” said Osmond.

“They will ship before the Chinese New Year [in mid-February]. We’ve got about 70,000 coming.”


Image: ABC News

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend