No Reliable Evidence for Plain Packaging
There is no reliable evidence to support the introduction of plain packaging in Ireland.
In December 2012, Australia became the first country to introduce plain packaging and to this day remains the only one to have done so. According the latest KPMG report, the black market in Australia has grown by nearly 25% since plain packaging was introduced. The illegal market is now at its highest ever point and the Australian Government and taxpayers are losing AUD$1.2 billion to tobacco smugglers a year.
Noteworthy is the recently published National Drugs Strategy Household Survey carried out by the Department of Health in Australia which shows that smoking among 12-17 year olds increased from 2.5% to 3.4% and that smoking initiation increased from 15.4% to 15.9% from 2010-2013 despite plain packaging being in place.
In Ireland, only 3% of smokers claimed to have started smoking because they liked the packaging whilst 89% claimed to have started because their friends smoked.
Reference: Eurobarometer 2012 – QD6 Among the following, what were the most significant elements that made you start smoking?