MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - A new study by Forum Research shows Canadians believe requiring plain packaging for cigarettes is an unnecessary waste of government resources. The research, commissioned by JTI, comes at a time when Canadians are concerned about the regulation of controlled substances. The research found that:
Eight out of ten Canadians (81%) believe that 'Branding on products matters as it gives consumers information about a product and helps distinguish one product from another.'
When applied specifically to cigarettes:
74% of Canadians believe that as tobacco is a legal product that adults are allowed to buy, tobacco companies should be allowed to brand their products.
The majority of Canadians (65%) think plain and standardised packaging is unnecessary; almost as many (64%) believe it to be a waste of government resources.
"Canadians are right to believe 'plain' packaging on tobacco products won't work," says Igor Dzaja, General Manager of JTI-Macdonald Corp. "The policy has failed in Australia1, where it was introduced nearly five years ago – the government's own data shows that the long-term decline in smoking has now stalled."
The Australian experience shows that consumer choice is now reduced to price when it comes to purchasing a tobacco product, and the cheapest product will always come from the illegal market. Untaxed and unregulated cigarettes already make up 20% of the tobacco market in Canada and a ban on branding will only make this problem worse.
_______________________________________ 1 On May 31 this year, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released its figures for the first full three-year period since plain packaging was introduced on tobacco products in December 2012. Figures show that "…while smoking rates have been on a long-term downward trend, for the first time in over two decades, the daily smoking rate did not significantly decline over the most recent 3 year period (2013 to 2016)": https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/contents/highlights-from-the-2016-survey
Note to editors
Forum conducted 2,000 interviews online with Canadians aged 19 or older between August 22 and September 1, 2017.
Data was weighted to ensure that the sample reflects the actual population according to the latest Statistics Canada Census data.
About Forum Research
Forum Research is one of Canada's leading market research and public opinion polling firms. Its clients include the Bank of Canada, Microsoft, Samsung, Porsche, Volkswagen, AT&T, Verizon, Elections Ontario and various political parties. Forum Research is a member-in-good-standing of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the self-regulatory Association which governs and represents the market, survey, and public opinion industry in Canada. In addition to satisfying conditions related to core focus and business continuity, professional conduct and compliance with MRIA Professional Standards, Forum Research has successfully completed a rigorous, independent assessment of its research practices by a third-party Certification Reviewer.