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Big tobacco warns cigarette stocks will run short because of plain packaging switch British American Tobacco's Australia managing director David Crow told a parliamentary inquiry the company would not have time to change its business processes or packaging operations. As a result, the Government risked illegal tobacco flooding stores once big companies pulled branded products, he said. Mr Crow said he would not be able to get products on shelves under plain packaging, and that he would not break the law and put branded cigarettes out. "I will be out of stock on July 1,'' he said. "Illegal cigarettes would come in and smother the market.'' In BAT's submission the company said the time frames for plain packaging were unrealistic. "The time frames do not take into account the realities of having to redesign all of our products, develop artwork, create machinery to make those products, manufacture and distribute those products to approximately 35,000 retailers throughout Australia,'' it said.