chop-chop and tobacco retail


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Tobacco is an important part of our industry, and a short time ago, I was talking to a newsagent about it when he commented that chop-chop (illegal tobacco) was hurting his business.

Later, when I spoke to a few more and it came up. All reported that it was a major problem with them too.

It is not just costing honest retailers but the government too.

Officially about 10% of all tobacco sales now is chop-chop in Australia. About twenty-nine per cent (28.7%) of all smokers/recent quitters are aware of loose tobacco sold in plastic bags or rolled into unbranded cigarettes. Of these, 62.4% have smoked it, which accounts for about 20% of all smokers who use it.

I found this interesting report which you might want to read.

The conclusions of the report seem correct.

Australian growers find it hard to grow any other product.

They have plenty of product that is not good enough to sell in the legal market.

They cannot export it. I was stunned by his comment that Australian tobacco was inferior to overseas product. I am a light smoker. I have been overseas. I don't find Australian smoke bad at all. It is better than what I trying in the Middle East, India and Europe. I found it as good as the stuff in China and the US. Maybe the writer here means that it is not the quality you need for export. Also, I am sure that it is overpriced for the world market. You could make a good business buying high-quality smoke in China and selling in Australia if you did not have to pay the taxes along the way.

The growers want cash. More money in chop-chop for them than legal sales. All you need to do is put a few bags aside.

One thing is for sure chop-chop will be a problem for quite a while.