An investigation into the legality of a new range of stickers which enable Australian smokers to dress up their plain tobacco packets has been launched.
Australian stores have been forced to comply with the new plain packaging legislation from December 1.
In addition to standardised text and a uniform olive green colour, packs also feature much larger graphic health warnings.
Sales of cigarette cases have jumped since the ban as smokers attempt to cover up the new packs, and earlier this week a Gold Coast company called Box Wraps launched a new range of stickers which feature the Australian flag and the slogan “It’s your box, it’s your choice”.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Ageing said it would be “immediately investigating the product to evaluate its status”.
Box Wraps general manager Anthony Do Rozario acknowledged that the launch of the new stickers was controversial, but said that it “needed to be done.”
Speaking to ABC radio he said: “Everyone deserves that right of choice. We are not a tobacco company, we are a retail company.”
Elsewhere, a scammer capitalising on the new plain packaging laws has succeeded in stealing almost £20,000 worth of tobacco from 14 shops across South Australia and Victoria.
Posing as a tobacco sales representative, the man deceived shop staff into allowing him to remove the old branded stock, telling them that he would return immediately with new plain packs.
He never returned.
Victoria Police detectives are leading the search for the man, who it is feared will sell the stock illegally.