British American Tobacco Australia (BATAS) has said that it is planning to launch a make-your-own (MYO) cigarette tobacco brand and suggested that it will be priced competitively with illicit tobacco products, according to a story in the Hobart Mercury relayed by the TMA.
The MYO brand is due to go on sale in 100 g and 25 g packs as part of efforts to discourage smokers from buying illicit tobacco products.
A recent KPMG report indicated that illicit tobacco products accounted for 14.5 percent of total consumption in Australia last year, a 30 percent increase in two years.
The illegal trade was estimated to have deprived the government of the opportunity to collect A$1.35 billion (US$1.1 billion) in tax revenue.
BATAS spokesman Scott McIntyre was said to have attributed the growth in the illegal market to excise tax increases.
McIntyre said that if BATAS were to price its MYO brand competitively with ‘chop chop’, there was potential to capture a huge untapped market share.
Smokers could purchase a high-tech cigarette making machine and make their own cigarettes at home.
MYO cigarettes would be expected to cost about A$9 (US$7.16) per pack of 25 cigarettes, compared to A$15 (US$11.93) per pack for discount brands.