Sir Cyril Chantler, the man tasked with reviewing the public Health evidence for plain tobacco packs, will visit Australia next month to assess the impact of the policy.

Chantler is due to report his findings to the UK government at the end of March. He will meet the Australian Retailers Association on 14 March in Melbourne.

ARA director of policy Heath Michael told The Grocer it would highlight to Chantler the unintended consequences of the packs such as a rise in illicit trade, as well as a financial hit for smaller retailers based on extra training and stock control issues.

Michael praised the review, claiming Australian retailers had had little opportunity to engage with government prior to the introduction of plain packs in December 2012. “There are still no real facts out there on the impact of these packs,” he said. “But I would urge all UK retailers to get involved, It is something that retailers are being listened to.”