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BP pleased with Tobacco sales

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Cancer Society of New Zealand

29th March 2006

For Immediate Release

BP pleased with Tobacco sales data: Data contradicts tobacco industry’s comments to media

Recent ACNielson Service Station Consumer Data (As printed in C-Store Magazine March 2006) showed growth in tobacco sales in service stations which claimed 37.2 percent of sales through January 1.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and the Cancer Society are sickened by the constant lies and manipulation by the New Zealand Tobacco Industry, and call on New Zealanders to take a stand against these lies.

In an interview with a local Auckland newspaper in May last year, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco spokespeople stated that the new tobacco point-of-sale display regulations had impacted on their sales in retail outlets.

But new data from ACNielson proves them wrong. The display restrictions are far too weak have had no impact on cigarette sales.

Becky Freeman Director ASH New Zealand says, “The new data shows that the statements by the tobacco company executives last year were untrue. This is just one of the many ways tobacco companies lie and manipulate the general public and the media to promote a product that kills 50 percent of their best consumers.”

She says that in almost every situation the truth is contrary to tobacco Industry spin.

Belinda Hughes, Tobacco Control Advisor with the Cancer Society says, “Cigarette displays serve as large advertisements in every corner dairy in the country. Restricting these displays is an absolute must if we want to reduce the number of New Zealanders dying every year due to smoking.”

Freeman says, “It is a simple case of out of sight, out of mind. It’s time to put tobacco products under the counter so that children are no longer exposed to this manipulative advertising.”

Fact: ACNielson Service Station consumer data shows a big growth in tobacco sales with the category claiming 37.2 percent of sales. (Four weeks to January 1st 2006)

Response by BP Connect: Spokesperson Chris Thorne’s comments to C-store Magazine in March 2006. “BP connect is a perfect site for tobacco sales as there are a multitude of extra purchase options available.”

Chris Thorne added that the 2004 legislation limiting the number of tobacco products able to be displayed did not appear to have affected sales at BP sites.

Tobacco industry spin: Compare the above facts with the spin by tobacco industry executives in May 2005.

When interviewed by a local Auckland newspaper, Carrick Graham, British American Tobacco’s spokesperson said, “It’s a highly competitive market and the changes have diminished the availability of tobacco products in outlets.”

Imperial Tobacco spokesperson Pat Wyne had this to say to the same newspaper. “The 100 facings rule reduces competition in the marketplace and impacts heavily on the business of Imperial Tobacco.”

According to the ACNielson Service Station Survey sales has increased and not decreased.

ASH NZ and Cancer Society urge New Zealanders to look beyond the lies and manipulation of the tobacco industry and end cigarette advertising in corner dairies and petrol stations. Tobacco must be put out of sight and out of mind.

ENDS

Background

Tobacco product retailers were affected by a number of changes from 10 December 2004. These include restrictions for tobacco display at a point of sale.

The display of tobacco products at each ‘point of sale’ is limited to a maximum of 100 packages and 40 cartons, unless the retailer’s place of business is a specialist tobacconist.

For further information see: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/wpg_Index/About-smokefreelaw-retailers#1

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