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27 Comments

  1. 1

    Socrates

    What exactly is draconian about this? We have all sorts of restrictions on advertising for all sorts of reasons for other products far less harmfull. I’d ask the opposite question – if a product is proven harmful to its users, why is it still allowed to be sold? How would cigarretes get FDA type approval as a safe consumer product today? They wouldn’t. Cigarettes make alco-pops look like a health tonic.

    Reply
  2. 2

    surfer

    C’mon Labor will need at least another 3 years of reviews and invistigations before this happens under Rudd.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Quitober Challenge

    Sounds good to me to have this law passed and leaves more room to promote health messages on the pack. I have set my goal to have our awareness campaign printed on packets of cigarettes in the same way that Quit gets its quitline number on the packets presently.

    I have been trying to get the message out that the Quitober Challenge is coming!
    Yes, you guessed it, what Movember is to the moustache, Quitober is to quitting smoking during October & beyond.

    It is a pity however that the event has been snubbed by Quit & our health industry here in Australia so far. This type of campaign is a new & innovative imitative that uses the same forces that got smokers started in the first place, social networks.
    This type of campaign is huge in Canada where they two such events during March & had over 43,000 smokers take part this year.

    If we are going to be the most progressive country in the world on Tobacco control I would suggest that we need to improve in this area of internet use & social networks to get there.

    Stay tuned for further posts.

    Reply
  4. 4

    David Sanderson

    The tobacco companies seriously hate this move and that is a sure sign that it will hit sales hard. Most amused by their PR flacks claiming that the plain packs could have health risks – is their anything these people will not do or say?

    Reply
  5. 5

    Socratease

    This is a good move. An even better move would be to insist that the word “cigarettes” be replaced with “FILTHY STINKING CANCER STICKS”.

    Reply
  6. 6

    David Sanderson

    The next step is to limit where they are sold and further restrictions on smoking in public areas.

    Reply
  7. 7

    Holden Back

    Do I see a role for Nick Minchin here?

    Reply
  8. 8

    Holden Back

    Or maybe Sophie Mirabella?

    Reply
  9. 9

    Elan

    A good move I agree. But it also highlights Governmental hypocrisy.

    Monetary gain does tend to do that.

    Reply
  10. 10

    Christine Johnson

    Should tobacco companies take a profit hit will it curtail their donations to the Liberal Party? Will the absence of a product description lead to consumer litigation?

    Reply
  11. 11

    dkit

    Given the way the state is heading towards tighter and tighter restrictions in tobacco:

    How long till we the first ‘smokeasy’ is quietly opened?

    Personally I can’t stand smoking. Smokers may as well pee in everyone’s pocket given the effect of their smoke. However I am concerned that in the headlong rush to ban and control the state is just creating another War on Drugs and look where that is taking us. Reminds me of prohibition, 1930’s. De we really want that? Another example in my opinion of the nanny state.

    Dkit

    Reply
  12. 12

    WATDSP

    This is a tremendous move for public health in Australia. Celebrations are definitely in order, and congratulations to all those who have worked so hard for this momentous achievement.

    Reply
  13. 13

    billie

    It won’t stop the committed smoker from inhaling but it might stop teenagers starting.

    Reply
  14. 14

    Pete WN

    @ David Sanderson 10.55am

    Completely agree – I lost it when I heard that argument. ‘Less healthy counterfeit cigarettes’ HAHAHA. Sounds like a US style lobbying campaign in the order of ‘socialised medicine’ – if only that wasn’t so darn effective.

    I would have loved to be in the board room when they were brain-storming the various angles they could push on this one.

    Reply
  15. 15

    Socratease

    On a related matter, why did the government telegraph its intention 24 hours in advance to raise excise on cancer sticks by 25%?

    Reply
  16. 16

    tonyofbrunswick

    And what we’ll see is slip on pack covers being sold at sunday markets and the cigarette pack becoming a fashion item. Or even the resurgence of the cigarette box from the 20’s.

    This will make it worse not better -it’s going to increase the number of young women smoking by turning the cigarette into more of a fashion accessory. And there won’t be the graphic reminder when they take the box out of their bags.

    I really can’t believe the stupidity of the “health” professions. It’s a shame they weren’t compelled to do some historical studies. People smoked heavily before the modern cigarette pack became popular.

    Reply
  17. 17
    Croakey

    Croakey

    Socratese, I’m not sure if you are asking about how the news broke before the official announcement or whether the govt was intending to give smokers time to stock up. If it was the former, Bernard Keane’s story in Crikey has some background about how the govt released the info: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/29/preventative-health-lobby-inflicting-serious-damage-on-our-freedom/

    Reply
  18. 18

    Dingoes Breakfast

    Now i can’t afford to volunteer for State Emergency Services SES or the volunteer bush-fire fighters because i need the extra money to pay for the new TAX on my cigarettes. I guess the government will just have to put the fires out themselves after all they can afford the petrol and associated costs i donated for free in the past.

    Reply
  19. 19

    David Sanderson

    OK, tonyofbrunswick, if you’re right the cigarette companies should welcome the plain packs. However they don’t welcome them because they are for more in touch with market realities than you apparently are.

    If you’re going to be a shill for these companies then I hope you are getting paid for it.

    Reply
  20. 20

    Socratease

    Croakey, thanks. I’m guessing that in this case it wasn’t an intentional government leak, just Oakes doing what comes naturally.

    Reply
  21. 21

    David Sanderson

    Dingoes Breakfast, perhaps you should have also mentioned that your adorable puppy will now die of starvation and your sweet old granny won’t get a Chrissy present this year. Maybe you should also say that your teeth will fall out because you can no longer afford toothpaste and your own house is going to burn down because you couldn’t afford to buy a fire extinguisher.

    There is no end to it once you get started.

    Reply
  22. 22
    Croakey

    Croakey

    The increased financial costs to consumers of tobacco pales into significance next to the financial and other costs of developing a serious tobacco-related illness…

    Reply
  23. 23

    Sun

    @David Sanderson, of course the tobacco industry is unhappy with plain packs, it means putting effort into thinking about how to cut losses and effort means money. I agree with tonyofbrunswick in that the plain packs may make cigarette cases into a fashionable accessory. And if we’ve thought of it, no doubt the tobacco companies have too. You only have to look at the variety and availability of mobile phone covers to see that it’s a viable option.

    Reply
  24. 24

    WATDSP

    Dingoes Breakfast: How many fires have been started by cigarettes? Bush fires, house fires, deaths… Thankfully the government has adopted legislation for reduced fire risk cigarettes, so I suppose they WILL be stubbing out some fires themselves.

    Reply
  25. 25

    David Sanderson

    If cigarette cases are such a fabulous fashion accessory the why haven’t they taken off already, regardless of existing pack decoration? Surely the existing warnings and pictures would have been enough to create a sufficient incentive?

    The fact is that these are a niche accessory mainly aimed at a girly market. There is no evidence that they will now take off. If and when I see a large number of teenage boys using such a poncy accessory I might believe you but for now I will consider this just to be a diversion and smokescreen put up by the tobacco companies.

    Reply
  26. 26

    AustralianNumerals

    Profits of ‘poo stick’ manufacturers actually took off after advertising was banned. So the outcome of plain packaging may be lower costs of production and more profits. So not all bad news for the manufacturers of these slow burning suicide sticks. IMHO it’s pretty gutless to rely on taxation policy rather than social policy. Howard took guns away from the community. Rudd should simply do the same with poo sticks. It’s impolite to fart in lifts just as it is for smokers to breathe in them…

    Reply

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