Fears over home-made cigs

Cathy O'Leary
Fears over home-made cigs

WA's anti-smoking lobby has described as bizarre plans by a tobacco company to sell make-your-own cigarettes.

British American Tobacco Australia says it is considering launching a MYO cigarette brand to capture the growing number of illegal "chop chop" smokers.

BATA spokesman Scott McIntyre said illegal loose leaf tobacco now made up the majority of the illegal black market and the industry was being forced to compete with organised crime for market share because of the Federal Government's failed excise system.

He said the product could be sold as cheap loose tobacco in 100 or 25 gram packs. "Smokers would then purchase a high-tech cigarette-making machine which would allow them to make consistently quality cigarettes in the comfort of their own home," he said.

"To put in perspective, 100 grams of MYO would make the equivalent of 200 cigarettes while 25 grams would make 50.

"The MYO version could work out to be around $9 a pack for 25 cigarettes, when currently the cheapest pack of 25 cigarettes is just under $15 a pack, so the MYO brand would be almost half price."

Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube said it was a desperate and bizarre suggestion.

"It's also a cynical ploy to get around curbs on cigarette promotion and to appeal to the most vulnerable sectors in the community," he said.