Introducing plain cigarette packaging won't reduce smoking- BTA

British American Tobacco (BAT) says its value chain will be at risk if South Africa implements draft bill mandating plain cigarette packaging.

Head of external affairs in Southern Africa at BAT, Joe Heshu, says they will be forced to downsize manufacturing plant to more appropriate size which market will allow.

Plain packaging of tobacco products will require standardised designs on all cigarette packs.

Heshu says introducing plain packaging won't decrease public consumption of cigarettes.

At no stage have we threatened to pull out of the South African market.

Joe Heshu, head of external affairs in Southern Africa at British American Tobacco

We are only highlighting the risk to our ability to manufacture in that market, and our ability to buy tobacco leaf in the market.

Joe Heshu, head of external affairs in Southern Africa at British American Tobacco

Will introducing plain packaging impact consumption? We don't believe it will. We believe that people will stop buying legal cigarettes and buy illegal cigarettes.

Joe Heshu, head of external affairs in Southern Africa at British American Tobacco

Imagine I walk into the shop, and the only difference I see is the price. I would go for the cheapest.

Joe Heshu, head of external affairs in Southern Africa at British American Tobacco

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan also announced increases on tobacco and alcohol products during his budget speech last month.

Listen to the full interview with Joe Heshu below for more information...

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