Trade Resources Industry Views Canadian Government Moves Ahead with Failed Plain Packaging Policy

Canadian Government Moves Ahead with Failed Plain Packaging Policy

The Canadian government passed legislation to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products despite evidence that the policy doesn't work and is not supported by Canadians.

A study by Forum Research shows Canadians believe requiring plain packaging for cigarettes is an unnecessary waste of government resources. The research, commissioned by JTI, found that:

Eight out of ten Canadians (81%) believe that 'Branding on products matters as it gives consumers information about a product and helps distinguish one product from another.'

When applied specifically to cigarettes:

74% of Canadians believe that as tobacco is a legal product that adults are allowed to buy, tobacco companies should be allowed to brand their products.

The majority of Canadians (65%) think plain and standardised packaging is unnecessary; almost as many (64%) believe it to be a waste of government resources.

"Canadians are right to believe 'plain' packaging on tobacco products won't work," says Igor Dzaja, General Manager of JTI-Macdonald Corp. "The policy has failed in Australia, where it was introduced over five years ago – the government's own data shows that the long-term decline in smoking has stalled1 and the overall illegal market is now at 15% – its highest level on record."2

The Australian experience shows that consumer choice is now reduced to price when it comes to purchasing a tobacco product, and the cheapest product will always come from the illegal market. Untaxed and unregulated cigarettes already make up one-third of all cigarettes sold in Ontario and a ban on branding will only make this problem worse.

Contribute Copyright Policy