Cigarette sales have fallen by about 20 million a month in the U.K. since plain packaging rules have been in effect, reports The Guardian, citing a new study.
“The underlying rate of decline in tobacco sales almost doubled after these policies were implemented,” said Anna Gilmore, director of the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG).
Before plain packaging rules were implemented in 2017, cigarette sales were falling by about 12 million a month, according to the TCRG.
“Governments around the world considering plain packaging can be reassured that this policy works and that the real reason the industry opposes this legislation so vehemently is because it threatens its profitability,” said Gilmore. “With coronavirus already posing a threat to tobacco company sales and plain packaging of tobacco taking off in other jurisdictions, our findings are more bad news for tobacco companies.”
The tobacco industry’s net revenue fell 13 percent, from £231 million ($291.9 million) to £198 million a month, after the implementation of the plain packaging rules.
The study was funded by Cancer Research U.K. and the British Heart Foundation.