Quarterly change in the volume of tobacco consumed (seasonally adjusted, household consumption):
Dec 2012: -2.9%
Mar 2013: -0.8%
Jun 2013: 1.4%
Sep 2013: 0.7%
Dec 2013: 1.1%
Mar 2014: -8.2%
Jun 2014: 1.3%
Sep 2014: -2.8%
Dec 2014: -2.9%
This is dreadful news for tobacco companies and is why they are engaging in a desperate attempt to slow or even stop the spread of plain packaging laws into other countries. They have failed in Ireland where plain packaging laws have taken effect and in the UK, where they will take effect in 2016.
Public health advocates around the world will be thrilled with the success of the plain packaging laws in Australia.
The business model of the tobacco companies, like all other private sector firms, is to grow and maximise sales and to increase the number of customers which means, quite obviously, having more people smoke. Anything that reduces the number of customers or the amount of tobacco each customer buys in damaging for their business model. This means the success of the plain packaging laws in Australia in cutting the volume of tobacco consumed is, in the eyes of the tobacco companies, to be fought wherever possible.
For the sake of the health of the general population, let's hope they fail.