Monday, June 17, 2024

Queensland cracks down on illicit tobacco sales

The National Retail Association welcomes the Queensland Government’s proposed crack-down on illicit tobacco and illegally supplied nicotine vaping products.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said illicit products were estimated to make up 20 per cent of all cigarette sales, costing taxpayers around $3.4 billion each year in lost revenue.

“We welcome the Queensland Government’s proposed crackdown on illicit tobacco and nicotine vaping,” Ms Lamb said.

“Law-abiding retailers who do the right thing are currently fighting with one hand tied behind their back against those who operate on the black market.

“These sales are not only out of the reach of Australian tax laws, but they also circumvent the very strong product labelling, health warning and minimum age laws designed to deter the take-up of smoking, especially among children.

“So, we call on other states and the Federal Government to support this drive, which will boost both revenue and health outcomes.”

Ms Lamb also welcomed the proposed licensing system for tobacco sales, saying it would create a clear difference between the legitimate retailers and those operating on the black market.

However, she warned it should not add additional costs and bureaucracy to small businesses at a time when they could least afford them.

“We know from experience that legitimate retailers do the right thing and abide by laws regarding product labelling and sales to minors.

“The penalties are severe, and retailers respect those laws. We would like to see much stronger enforcement activity directed at those black-market operators who do not respect those laws.

“So, we support a licensing scheme, and call for enforcement action to be targeted primarily at those who operate outside the scheme.”

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