Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Covert tobacco industry marketing tactics exposed by former employees


News Release 29-Sep-2020
Taylor & Francis Group

To circumvent current tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) laws in Australia, tobacco companies are incentivising retailers with cash payments, all-expenses paid holidays, exclusive parties and tickets to sporting events to drive tobacco sales.

Published today in Global Public Health, this is the first study to use interviews with former tobacco industry employees as key informants to understand the tactics that tobacco companies use to exploit gaps in the Australian legislation.

"Direct advertising of tobacco to consumers has long been banned, however this study exposes that tobacco companies continue to market their products through thousands of tobacco retailers," said lead author Christina Watts from University of Sydney and Tobacco Control Policy at Cancer Council NSW.

"Tobacco companies have focused their marketing budget on retailers as they are one of the only remaining avenues to communicate directly with consumers.

Under Australian legislation, incentives and benefits connected to the sale of tobacco cannot be provided to consumers, however, such laws do not explicitly apply to tobacco retailers. A recent sample survey of Australian tobacco retailers found that one-third had received a benefit or incentive from a tobacco company in return for doing something for the company.


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