What are the consequences of impersonal pack of cigarettes?


Russian authorities continue to search for ways to combat smoking, inventing new prohibitions and restrictions, and sometimes following the example of Western countries. And it is not always taken into account the negative experience of and the damage which threatens business. That's a new initiative - the introduction of impersonal cigarette packaging - was rather coldly received by both the employers and by consumers.

The fact that the new concept to counter tobacco consumption will be complemented by the introduction of impersonal point of packaging, Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova warned another 30 of May. As a result, a pack of cigarettes will be deprived of any distinctive brand names: they will have the same appearance, uniform design and color, regardless of brand or price. It is believed that this package will contribute to reduce the level of smoking.

However, VTsIOM decided to test whether consumers really will refuse to buy products impersonal, a telephone survey conducted among 1,500 people. It turned out that the overwhelming majority of smokers (81%) when buying cigarettes pay attention to their quality, which is associated with a familiar brand name. That is, in the eyes of the buyer the usual color package - a guarantee of quality products, unlike the original from a fake. By the way, 53% of respondents called branded packaging protection against counterfeiting. The majority of the respondents doubt that the introduction of standardized packaging would be an effective measure to reduce smoking levels.

This issue was raised at the XVI Annual International Business Summit Retail Business Russia & EAEU. Commenting on the possible introduction of impersonal cigarette packaging, Deputy Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov difficult to assess the feasibility of such a measure. According to him, in the beginning it should be "competent to examine the possible consequences." The opinion was expressed by business ombudsman Boris Titov, noting strengthening the macroeconomic situation of the impact of policies. The tobacco industry also questioned the need for the emergence of such a measure. As a negative example, the general director of JTI Russia Dean Gilfillan led Australia.

The country adopted the Law on impersonal packaging (Plain Packaging Act) back in 2012, but so far the government has not provided compelling evidence of the impact of a uniform package to reduce tobacco consumption. Even experts in a report published on 26 February this year did not see the real facts that point to the benefits of this law. But the cons enough - an increase in low-price segment and the share of illegal products. By the way, it is the gray market tobacco leaves the government and the taxpayers every year without the $ 1.2 billion.

This film did not frighten the UK, which followed the lead of Australia in May this year. Moreover, to obtain a review of the law tried to businesses, including convenience stores association (Association of Convenience Stores, ACS). In his letter to the British authorities pointed to the ACS for retailers risks: for example, that standardized packaging can create significant operational problems.

As a result, each additional person-hour per day will cost businesses £ 2614 annually. In addition, the difficulty in identifying specific brands in the retail trade will result in delays in customer service. As an example, ACS resulted in Australia again, where after the ban the seller is looking for the right pack of cigarettes by an average 12.43 sec., Although earlier it took 9.84 seconds. Significant negative, if in the queue of five to six people to buy cigarettes of different brands.

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