Plain packaging is encouraging illicit trading

674392-plain-paper-packaging-for-cigarette (1)Plain packaging, despite being introduced to lower cigarette sales, has had no negative impact on profits. British American Tobacco has claimed that Australia is one of the strongest markets in the Asia Pacific.

The only major change in tobacco sales is the rise of illicit cigarette sales.

Nicandro Durante, the chief executive of British American Tobacco, has told analysts during an earnings briefing for the £60 billion ($112.3 billion) tobacco giant that the only impact on his business in Australia in the wake of plain packaging has been a uptick in activity by criminals and smugglers with a rapid rise in the sale of illicit or counterfeit cigarettes.

According to the Australian Customs and Border Protection 2012-13 annual report there has been a gradual increase in the detection of illicit cigarettes and a corresponding decrease in detection of loose tobacco.

In 2010-11 customs detected 82 million smuggled cigarette sticks, rising to 141 million in 2011-2012 and 200 million sticks in 2012-2013.

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