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Preventing tobacco pack advertising - the Australian experience Anne Jones, ASH Australia ASPIRE seminar, Wellington NZ 29/9/11.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing tobacco pack advertising - the Australian experience Anne Jones, ASH Australia ASPIRE seminar, Wellington NZ 29/9/11."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing tobacco pack advertising - the Australian experience Anne Jones, ASH Australia ASPIRE seminar, Wellington NZ 29/9/11

2 1. Context 2. Out of sight at point of sale (PoS) Where are we at? How did we get there? 3. TI opposition and counter actions 4. Plain packaging – brief update 5. Lessons learned 6. Challenges and opportunities 7. Next steps?

3 Global 1. WHO FCTC has been ratified by Australia, NZ and Pacific region with legal obligations to – comprehensively ban all TAPS (Article 13) protect health policies from TI interference (Art 5.3) implement large, effective health warnings (Art 11) 2. Political Declaration at UN Meeting this month on Non-Communicable Diseases commits governments to accelerate the FCTC 3.Expectations that we can lead the way

4 Australia Federal + 8 states/territories with Tobacco Action Plans Agreed national target of 10% or less smoking by 2018 National Preventive Health Agency formed by Govt to prevent diseases, act on recommendations of roadmap report $50m pa combined investment in tobacco control Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Pship agreements include targets to reduce smoking 16.6% (14+) smoke at least weekly, 15.1% daily ( AIHW 10 ) 7.3% (110,000) secondary school children smoke at least weekly ( ASSAD 08 )

5 How did we get from this….. to this?

6 Best to worst: ACTGeneral retailers 31 Dec 2009; specialist tobacconists 31 Dec 2010 NTAll retailers 2 Jan 2011 TasGeneral retailers 1 Feb 2011; specialist exemptions to end 2012 NSWLarge retailers from 1 Jan 2010; smaller 1 Jul 2010; specialists by 1 Jul 2013 WAGeneral retailers 22 Sept 2010; specialists exempt with conditions (under review) SAGeneral retailers 1 Jan 2012; specialist exemptions to end Dec 2014 Vic General retailers 1 Jan 2011; specialists exempt QldBill introduced, plan to cover all from Dec 2011? (under review)

7 Behind the counter, above the counter, under the counter – and still front-of-shop


9 JurisdictionPrice tickets - displayPrice BoardsPrice listOther labels ACT (can be located below or next to blocked out smoking products – could be inside or outside cupboard) XX ( Staff barcode sheet permitted) NSW (must be attached to a sales unit) (Board or price tickets not both, most retailers use price board) X NTX (Can be produced on customer request) (Small label visible to retailer only, no price info) QLD – TBC – Bill currently before QLD Parlt; new regs not yet drafted. (Bill says must be fixed at the place where tobacco products are kept – could be in or outside unit) XX SA ( can be located inside or outside cupboard or both) X TASX X (Can use price ticket inside cupboard; must only be visible to retailer) VICX X (Dept advises ok as long as does not amount to a tobacco advertisement) WA ( can be located inside or outside cupboard) (Can be produced on customer request) X Source: Vicki Tumini, Legal Policy Adviser, QUIT Victoria

10 NSW legislation allows price tickets and boards publichealth/healthpromotion/tobacco/ pdf/display_factsheet_5_final.pdf Price boards are very visible in public place - used as advert and to promote price discounting $17 (25), $30 (50) Best option: Price tickets only or with price list on demand with no multiple pack discounts listed

11 Prescribed for display (size, position) Call the quit line message, health warning Best option - full colour graphic warning or nothing including ban on industry age warnings Paper by Ron Borland soon to be published

12 35,000 retail outlets Most registered for fee and can be deregistered for selling to children Publicly accessible Best option: registration scheme with large fee to cover full costs of compliance monitoring, responsible selling training

13 Recommended elimination of all forms of advertising in retail outlets – with limited display not an alternative Collaborated on overall plan, advocacy tools Partners engaged in advocacy with submissions, media, MP meetings statements/PS-Display_advertising-April2005.pdf Tobacco Issues Committee developed joint position statement for policy makers, MPs, media, public

14 Formed and co-ordinated by ASH, the coalition of 42 partners endorses: submissions to governments, media releases, letter campaigns, advocacy kits Action on Smoking and Health Australia; Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia; Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare; Association of Children's Welfare Agencies; Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society; Australian & New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science; Australian Childhood Foundation; Australian Council of Social Service; Australian Council of State School Organisations; Australian Council on Smoking and Health; Australian Education Union; Australian Foster Care Association; Australian General Practice Network; Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation; Australian Lung Foundation; Australian Medical Association (NSW); Australian National Council on Drugs; Australian Parents' Council; Australian Youth Affairs Coalition; Baptist Union of NSW; Cancer Council Australia; Catholic Health Australia; Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control; Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research; Cystic Fibrosis Australia; Early Childhood Australia; Families Australia; Heart Foundation; Murdoch Childrens Research Institute; National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect; National Asthma Council Australia; NSW Council of Churches; Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia; Public Health Association of Australia; Royal Australasian College of Physicians; Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; Rural Doctors Association of Australia; Save the Children Australia; SIDS and Kids; Smarter than Smoking; Telethon Institute for Child Health Research; Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand

15 Retail displays predispose children towards smoking, make them more likely to begin and continue smoking Tobacco display a powerful form of advertising – TI sees aim as to stimulate trial purchase and re-purchase (used ad experts analysis) Shop display undermines attempts to quit smoking by tempting would-be quitters into impulse buying Putting tobacco totally out of sight in shops a worldwide trend Retail displays of tobacco may encourage break-and-enter theft; putting tobacco out of sight may discourage Strong public support for out of sight policy Most smokers dont need displays to choose brand Any loss of revenue from tobacco sales countered short-term by transfer of spending to other consumables; far outweighed long-term by health savings from reduced smoking

16 Myth #1 Putting tobacco out of sight in shops will hurt retailers by costing thousands of dollars in new shelving - jobs will be lost Myth #2 Ending display is unnecessary, no evidence to show tobacco displays increase youth smoking or sales Myth #3 Display is not the same as advertising Myth #4 Tobacco is legal and retailers have right to sell legal products Myth #5Restricting display will interfere with brand choice Myth #6Tobacco is good for the economy – earning $9.3 b each year Myth #7 Putting tobacco out of sight will endanger staff by making them turn or bend down in positions making them vulnerable to theft Myth #8 Display bans would hide graphic packet health warnings Myth #9 Display bans are paternalistic, would diminish liberty Myth #10 Out of sight tobacco will increase illicit trade and smuggling These myths busted in ASH fact sheets and kits at

17 Advocacy tools Framed our issue as protecting children Collaborated with partners on key messages Promoted the evidence Mobilised coalition to endorse govt submissions, media releases Lobbied MPs with letter campaigns, advocacy kits and e-campaign Raised public awareness with earned media releases Developed retailer support by using shareholder activism with major retailers Woolworths and Coles Promoted public opinion surveys supporting tougher controls Exploited the domino effect starting with most winnable state Countered the TI myths

18 There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industrys interests and public health policy interests WHO FCTC Article 5.3

19 1. Reinventing the industrys image Engaged in CSR programs Cast tobacco control as nanny state, anti-business 2. Influencing friends in high places Schmoozed political parties with donations Used prominent people, recruited former political advisers, hid behind high profile lobbyists 3. Astro-turfing – using third parties Retailer Alliance funded by TI opposed govt with $20m mass media campaign Attacked health policies using think tanks and consultants (e.g. IPA, Patrick Basham)

20 4. Intimidation and harassment Economic threats over job losses Deloittes report commissioned by TI retailer front group claimed compliance costs of $10,000 /retailer Legal threats, flooding Health Departments with FOIs 5. Claiming it wont work Ignored decades of research, argued that if it hadnt been done elsewhere there was no evidence Tried to argue policies wouldnt reduce smoking, but would still have ruinous costs for to retailers 6. Claiming failure of TC policies in other countries Lobbied MPs with false claims that out-of-sight had failed in Canada; then using out-of-sight to claim no need for plain packs

21 7. TAPS – to hook and hide Exemptions used to push to the pushers with incentives New media exploited Our silent salesman gets frequent makeovers…. ASH PackWatch at

22 Monthly ASH online TI tactics charts - from Aug 2010 RH Counter-actions column deleted or edited for online

23 ASH Australia online guide (2010) A guide to identifying, monitoring and preventing tobacco industry interference in public health

24 Two bills introduced in May 2011 after long public consultation, three inquires Passed Lower House Aug 2011, Senate expected to pass after 11 th October when resumes Law due to take effect January 1 – July 1, 2012 Trans-Tasman agreement exemption for 12 months

25 National Tobacco Issues Committee developed public position statement including Key messages What plain pack laws must cover Background – Limited regulation of pack design Brand image and personality communicated through pack Packs target market segments, new smokers and brand switching Deceptive use of colour, imagery and undermining of warnings Trademarks and trade agreements Expert review of evidence launched with Plain facts website

26 National Preventative Health Taskforce formed by Minister - in 2009 recommended plain packs as one of 11 key tobacco action areas April 2010: Government leaders announced plain packs plus immediate 25% tax increase 31 May 2011: Minister Roxon receives WHO, Nigel Grey awards; National TC Scoreboard Minister commits $700,000 to WHO for global tobacco fight

27 Front groups: Alliance of Australian Retailers media campaign in election period (It wont work, so why do it?) – funded by big 3 Nanny State: Imperials $20m carpet-bombing media campaign New micro websites: (PML), (Imperial), (BATA) Smoker mobilisation: with pack inserts (PML) Legal challenges: - FOI appeals to try to get old govt legal advice (PML, BATA) - PML vs Govt claiming plain packs would infringe obscure Aust-Hong Kong bilateral trade treaty – - Threatening billions of $ legal cost to taxpayer Economic bull and bullying: Deloitte reports exaggerate illicit trade, seeking delays - timeframe unrealistic, threatening price war

28 1. Collaborating with partners creates united front on policies, messages 2. Selling the evidence plays big part in winning policy/political support 3. Mobilising and supporting Champions helps promote the messages - in media, and inside and outside government 4. Exposing weak links with Tobacco Control Scoreboard on WNT Day - creates a competitive environment to improve 5. Monitor and counter TI tactics – strategically, publicly and frequently with Tobacco Watch, Pack Watch and monthly reports 6. Building stronger coalitions beyond health strengthens the case 7. Polling public opinion is worth the investment as ahead of govt 8. Avoid exemptions and incremental phases - harmful, messy, confusing, and not a level playing field

29 1.Exemptions, long phase out, no end Avoid at all costs as harmful, messy, and unfair 2.Winning political support Preventive Health strategy? Situational analysis comparing NZ lagging behind Australia? Role of Trans-Tasman Agreement? 3. Preventing TI interference Need for engagement to be limited, transparent Scoping paper on FCTC Article 5.3 and action plan

30 4. Countering the no evidence claim Collaborating on research agenda i.e. OCEANIA, WCTOH, tobacco-free futures CINSW Tobacco Promotion Working Group (re impact of out-of-sight, plain packs) 5. Tobacco price discounting – the latest tactic Price tickets without public price boards best option or boards on demand to limit price promotions and discounts.

31 Comprehensive TC plan needs to: Prevent TI interference Best practice (no exemptions) Strengthen capacity, coalitions Build in tobacco-free future goals Evaluate what we have done to improve what we do next More ANZAC spirit!

32 Anne Jones OAM Chief Executive, ASH Australia Stafford Sanders Communications Officer, ASH Australia Co-ordinator, Protecting Children from Tobacco coalition Thanks to ASH interns and volunteers

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