An international Deloitte report, commissioned by British American Tobacco and published in May 2011, revealed that increasing the size of health warnings on packs and introducing graphic warnings had not directly reduced tobacco consumption – and called into question whether plain packaging will achieve government health objectives.
The Deloitte report, which assessed 27 countries covering a period of 14 years, is one of the most comprehensive and rigorous independent studies on tobacco packaging regulation to date. We commissioned it in the absence of any comprehensive global studies on the impacts of tobacco packaging and hope governments will study it.
Deloitte’s analysis did not identify any statistically significant direct relationship between tobacco packaging regulation, including the size and type of government health warnings, and changes in legal tobacco consumption.
The report also highlighted potential unintended consequences if plain packaging for tobacco products were introduced – including an increase in the illegal tobacco market, lost tobacco tax revenues, potentially significant legal and compensation costs for governments and cost burdens on small retailers.
The report cast doubt over the effectiveness of tobacco packaging laws and suggested that governments consider potential intended and unintended impacts of plain packaging.
We are concerned that health warning and plain packaging proposals are being rushed through without proper thought as to the real impact.
Read the full report:
Tobacco packaging regulation: An international assessment of the intended and unintended consequences (2.5 mb)