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Fee hike reduces SA tobacco outlets

Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Author: Kevin Naughton, Indaily

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Jacking up licence fees for tobacco retailers had a major impact on the number of outlets selling cigarettes, a Cancer Council SA research paper concludes.

The paper, published by the British Medical Journal online yesterday, says cigarette availability has received little attention in tobacco control in Australia and internationally.

It examined the impact of a 15-fold licence fee increase on tobacco retailer licence renewals as part of State Government Budget measures in 2007.

Government tobacco licence records were audited for one year before, and two years after, the change.

It found a 23 per cent fall in licensed outlets - even higher in what it called "low demand" areas.

"This study has important implications; the reduction in tobacco licensees... suggests that the substantial fee increase from a low base was a disincentive for renewing/purchasing new licences where consumer demand is low," the study found.

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