Study of the Impact of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Measure on Smoking Prevalence in Australia

The Department commissioned an expert analysis of Roy Morgan Single Source smoking prevalence data to investigate the impact of the tobacco plain packaging measure on smoking prevalence in Australia.

Page last updated: 27 May 2016

The analysis was conducted by Dr Tasneem Chipty of Analysis Group Inc, an economic and business consulting firm with particular expertise and experience in econometric analysis.

The analysis concluded that, “given the ways in which the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 was intended to work, the policy’s effects on overall smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption are likely to grow over time”. Specifically, the analysis found that in comparing the 34 months prior to the implementation of tobacco plain packaging and enlarged graphic health warnings in December 2012, and the 34 months following the implementation of these measures:

  • there was a “statistically significant decline in smoking prevalence [among Australians aged 14 years and over] of 0.55 percentage points over the post-implementation period, relative to what the prevalence would have been without the packaging changes”; and
  • this decline accounts for approximately one quarter of the total decline in average prevalence rates observed.
On 19 May 2016, Dr Chipty provided an addendum to her report estimating the number of fewer smokers as a result of the 0.55 percentage point decline. Over the 34 month post-implementation period from December 2012 to September 2015, Dr. Chipty estimates that the 2012 packaging changes resulted in 108,228 fewer smokers.

A copy of the Study including the addendum is available below:

Study of the Impact of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Measure on Smoking Prevalence in Australia including addendum (Word 228 KB)
Study of the Impact of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Measure on Smoking Prevalence in Australia including addendum (PDF 1125 KB)

Addendum to Study of the Impact of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Measure on Smoking Prevalence in Australia (Word 21 KB)
Addendum to Study of the Impact of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Measure on Smoking Prevalence in Australia (PDF 80 KB)