04 Aug, 2010 Last updated: 16 Nov, 2014

VicHealth CEO Todd Harper responds to a bid by the Alliance of Austrailan Retailers to campaign against plain packaging of cigarettes.

STATEMENT - 4 August 2010

VicHealth has condemned a bid by the tobacco industry to prevent cigarettes from being sold in plain packaging as a poorly disguised attempt to keep smokers hooked.

The organisation Alliance of Australian Retailers Pty Ltd has been established to fight against the plain packaging of tobacco products.

VicHealth CEO Todd Harper today said the campaign was a desperate bid by the tobacco companies to hold on to one of the last avenues to market their products and to retain and recruit smokers.

“There’s no doubt that plain packaging is an important strategy to reduce the marketing clout of the tobacco industry,” Mr Harper said.

“If the tobacco industry is willing to invest such a large amount of money to fight against plain packaging, it can only mean that this will be a highly effective initiative to reduce smoking.

“The packet remains one of the few ways in which these companies continue to glamorise their deadly product.”

Mr Harper noted that the new Alliance of Australian Retailers Pty Ltd was registered by Philip Morris’ lawyers.

ENDS