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Cigarette packaging

January 4th, 2010 at 12:59pm

I’m tempted to send Andrew Daddo another email now, but I won’t bombard him.

Currently he is talking to a professor about cigarette packaging, specifically the idea which keeps popping up of removing everything from the packaging except for the health warnings and horrid images. Naturally the professor thinks this is a wonderful idea because he helped write a government report to that effect…and maybe he is right, maybe it would make people less likely to smoke, but I have to ask the obvious questions…what right does the government have to deliberately ruin a legal industry?

If the government wants to stop people from smoking, then it should have the guts to make tobacco illegal and take the subsequent hit to its bottom line from the taxes which it would lose as a result. At the moment, it is perfectly legal to produce, sell and use tobacco. Taxing tobacco to the hilt does very little to stop people who are addicted from smoking…all it really does is reallocate money which they would have spent on other things.

And as for the tobacco packaging, well a recent German study just proves that the science isn’t settled on gory packaging being the ultimate deterrent:

According to a study, smokers who are continunally confronted with warnings that cigarettes kill actually develop coping mechanisms to justify continuing their habit.

Comparatively, if smokers are shown warnings suggesting the habit could make them unattractive, they are more likely to give up. Teenagers who took up the habit to impress or fit in with their peers were more likely to be influenced by warnings about their appearance, the study found.

“In general, when smokers are faced with death-related anti-smoking messages on cigarette packs, they produce active coping attempts as reflected in their willingness to continue the risky smoking behaviour,” the study said.”

People know that smoking is bad for them, but they do it anyway. If the government is serious about saving lives and not just about increasing their bottom line, then they need to make tobacco illegal and offer assistance to people to wean them off the tobacco.


Entry Filed under: General News,Samuel's Editorials

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  • 1. mick  |  January 5th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    All of the changes being made to the sale of tobacco will inevitably lead to the banning of cigarette sales I believe.

    But obviously you can’t just go about making them illegal from one day to another. It is this gradual progression of changing sales tactics and restrictions of where you can smoke that will reduce the number of addictees and will make it easier to ban the product down the track.

  • 2. Samuel  |  January 5th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I agree that the banning of tobacco is inevitable, but I still have serious reservations with the methodology. I just feel that the current slow banning and hiking of taxes is increasing the misery of smokers while making them feel more and more like criminals (despite smoking being legal), while the government just rakes in the cash.

    (Yes, I know that the taxes on smoking supposedly contribute to the health bill…that’s what we do with socialised medicine, we hike taxes on stuff which causes health problems, build a bigger government machine and still can’t get the hospitals to function properly).

    I find the whole approach from the government (all sides…they all do it) to be blatantly dishonest. If society agrees that smoking is bad and can only lead to death, destruction and a bigger tax bill for all, then why not just take the step of banning smoking and spending money to help those who need the assistance with quitting? Surely in the long term that is the more responsible approach, both from the human cost perspective and the prevention of a massive health bill down the track.

  • 3. Samuel  |  January 5th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Oh, and I wonder if it’s a coincidence that I just received an email telling me that I won a million pounds in the Tobacco Award…there, that proves it, I must be in the pocket of the tobacco executives!


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