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Tobacco Plain Packaging Compliance - Small Retailers
Compliance with the Australian Government’s tobacco plain packaging legislation.
The Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 became law on 1 December 2011 and requires all tobacco products sold in Australia for domestic consumption to be in plain packaging from 1 December 2012. This gave retailers 12 months notice of the new laws.
The Government’s plain packaging legislation is a world first and sends a clear message that the glamour is gone – cigarette packs will now only show the death and disease that can come from smoking. The new packs have been designed to have the lowest appeal to smokers and to make clear the terrible effects that smoking can have on health.
Research shows that plain packaging will:
- increase the noticeability, recall and impact of health warning messages;
- reduce the ability of packaging to mislead consumers to believe that some products may be less harmful than others;
- reduce the attractiveness of the tobacco product, for both adults and children; and
- through the achievement of these aims in the long term, as part of a comprehensive suite of tobacco control measures, contribute to efforts to reduce smoking rates.
The Government undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders including retailers and small business groups when it developed the plain packaging legislation and regulations, with concerns from retailers about timeframes for implementation and handling of plain packaged products being considered.
During the passage of the legislation through Parliament, the Government introduced amendments to allow a longer lead time for implementation of the legislation. The amendments assisted retailers by providing an additional five months before the full commencement of the legislation, and allowed a longer period for the sell through of non-compliant stock.
The Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011, available on the ComLaw website, set out requirements for the retail packaging and appearance of tobacco products.
All tobacco suppliers, including retailers, must now be compliant with the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011. The Government has established a complaints line, website and email address for public complaints regarding compliance with the plain packaging legislation.
The Government has finalised the compliance and enforcement framework for plain packaging. The Tobacco Plain Packaging Enforcement Policy and further information on tobacco plain packaging is available on the yourHealth website.
Reviewed: 9 May 2013