11 Feb 2013

Plain packaging not affecting tobacco sales

6:30 pm on 11 February 2013

Retailers in Australia claim that a regime of tobacco plain packaging there is failing to stem cigarette smoking, though it is proving costly for them.

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores says tobacco sales remain consistent, despite plain packaging, but retailers are paying more in administrative and labour costs to implement the change.

The association says stores have had to invest time and money to retrain staff, prepare stock returns and implement new inventory management processes.

Director Jeff Rogut says many stores still hold branded products, and one retailer has reported being left with $A180,000 worth of stock that cannot be sold.

Mr Rogut says he's not surprised plain packaging hasn't reduced smoking rates, as there was never any evidence that it would.

New Zealand is currently considering plain packaging.