I don’t see how the “Killer Price Cut” blackmail by British American Tobacco should scare the government at all. Here’s what they’re threatening, on the front page of yesterday’s News Ltd tabloids:
THE tobacco industry is threatening to flood Australia with half-price cigarettes to fight plain packaging laws.
It is also threatening to seek billions of dollars in compensation from the Federal Government…
BAT Australia chief David Crow said cigarette companies would be forced to drastically cut prices because no-name “chop-chop” tobacco and cigarettes – which cost as little as 30 per cent of the cost of a regular packet – would be more attractive.
He said the cheap prices “basically means more people will smoke, more kids will smoke”.
You give us what we want or we’ll kill more of your kids?
Here’s a response: add a levy to the cigarettes that cancels out the price reduction.
I suspect today’s threat won’t help BAT when it seeks public support to fight that.