Australia's tobacco industry

In Australia, cigarettes and tobacco products have provided a reliable source of revenue and jobs.

Currently, the Australian Federal Government levies a ‘per stick’ excise on cigarettes and a weight based excise on Roll-Your-Own (RYO) tobacco. A 10 per cent GST is also applied at the time of purchase.

In 2013/2014 tobacco excise is estimated to contribute about 18 per cent (AUD $8.5 billion) of total excise revenue collected. [1] On average the tax (including GST) on a packet of cigarettes can reach above  70%, a level among the highest in the developed world.

We employ approximately 550 people in Australia and over 1,100 across the Australasia Area.

Value of the industry

In terms of government revenue, the total tobacco excise tax collected in 2013/14 was $A8.5 billion. [1]

Cigarette and tobacco sales represent almost 5 per cent of total retail sales.

Value of tobacco products to the Australian economy

Total value of all retail sales in Australia in 2014 (ABS) [2] $A280 billion
Total value of tobacco retail sales in Australia 2009 [3] $A12.17 billion
Percentage of the retail price of cigarettes collected by the government as tax including excise and GST 65-70 per cent
Estimated total tobacco excise taxation collected in 13/14 [1] $A8.5 billion
Number of retail businesses that sell cigarettes and tobacco products in 2014 40,000

The revenue and gross margins generated by sales of cigarettes and tobacco products comprise a major part of business for many Australian retailers, particularly small mixed businesses and tobacconists.

These goods also form a significant proportion of total sales for most major grocery retailers. Margins vary considerably between different types of retailer from, on average, 6-8 per cent for tobacconists, 10 per cent for supermarkets and 30 per cent for convenience stores.

In 2014  the number of cigarettes sold in Australia numbers approximately 18 billions sticks.[3] 

[1] Australian Government 2014, 2013-14 Final Budget Outcome, Australian Government, Canberra.
[2] ABS TABLE 1. Retail Turnover by Industry Group.
[3] Aztec scan data, for the financial year ending June 2014.