Australia's tobacco industry

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

BAT’s tobacco products have a history of more than 100 years in Australia. We are proud of our iconic brands, and the valuable role we play in the Australian economy, employees’ careers, and the success of Australian retailers.

How BAT contributes to the Australian economy

In Australia, we make a significant and valuable contribution to the economy through our corporate tax contributions, direct employment, and the revenue and jobs we provide to Australian retailers.

In total, the tobacco excise tax contributed approx. 2.5% of total Government revenue – or approx. $A12.1 billion in 2019/20 Budget period.

We contribute excise through a ‘‘per stick’ levy on cigarettes and a weight-based levy on Roll-Your-Own (RYO) tobacco. A 10 per cent GST is also applied at the time of purchase. On average the tax (including GST) on a packet of cigarettes can reach above 70% – a level among the highest in the developed world.

How BAT contributes to employment and local economies

BAT Australia directly employs approximately 400 people in Australia, and more than 1,100 across Australia and the South Pacific. We are proud to be one of the top 3 employers in Australia and the region.

Additionally, cigarette and tobacco product sales represent approx.15.8% of all grocery sales in Australia. This represents a significant source of sales for Australian retailers, particularly small mixed businesses and tobacconists. Margins vary considerably between retailers, but ultimately our contributions benefit their profitability and ability to contribute to their local economies.

More about tobacco

The tobacco plant is from the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. It is not grown legally in Australia, but is grown in more than 100 countries worldwide. Tobacco provides farmers with a sustainable crop, which thrives in poorer soils, benefits crop rotation, and provides a high income to the farmers and supply chains involved. BAT does not own tobacco farms or directly employ farmers, and you can read more about our global approach to agriculture here .