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The Forum > General Discussion > Will the plain packaging of cigarettes deter smokers.

Will the plain packaging of cigarettes deter smokers.

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I for one, doubt it!

We already buy bread, milk, flour and eggs in plain wrap and think nothing of it so long as the product tastes 'ok' and does the job.

All this will do is make the retailers job harder, as they will have to idendify which is which, esspecially if a staff member loads the shelves wrongly, which will happen.

Now if you want to reduce smoking, then may I suggest a message on each packet showing the breakdown of the costs.

Eg; $16.00 per pack

$4.00 for the cigarettes
$10.50 tax
$1.50 GST
The Australian tax payer and the Australian cancer fund thanks you for you donation.
Posted by rehctub, Friday, 6 August 2010 6:45:26 AM
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rehctub
I don't smoke so am not aware if there is variation in the 'flavour'. My guess is the packaging won't make much difference if one is addicted to the nicotine fix. I imagine most people don't choose to smoke or continue to smoke because of the pretty packaging. Although brand choice may initially be influenced in the early stages of the habit - especially if 'marketing' is directed to younger people.

This is another 'look to be doing something' policy that achieves very little.

Which is why I don't understand why small retailers and service station associations are fighting this so vehemently unless they think it might work to reduce smoking and hence sales. If it did reduce smoking that would be a good thing, but I doubt that this will be the case.
Posted by pelican, Friday, 6 August 2010 9:25:39 AM
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Notice how the GST is a tax on a tax :)

Governments are no mugs when it comes to raking in the cash.
Posted by ALGOREisRICH, Friday, 6 August 2010 10:26:20 AM
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The LNP will be outed for any support received from tobacco, how cynical they are!

To become hooked on nicotine one first needs to consume lung busters. The marketing is aimed at vulnerable people, kiddies and adolescents. The packaging is a crucial part of building an image of status and so on to encourage people to smoke in the first place.

Fags and soft drinks account for much of the profit of garages and small shops. However, if the money wasn't spent on tobacco it would be spent elsewhere. Some might might even go into groceries.

The antis have the measure of the tobacco companies and the politicians who support them.
Posted by Cornflower, Friday, 6 August 2010 11:21:12 AM
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the whole anti smoking campaign has been an incredible success, or has it. Why is it that we continue to discriminate against a legal product and a group of people that are amongst the highest taxpayers around. Tobacco is for all of society a point of confusion. If it is so bad make it illegal, it really is that simple other wise shut up and stop whining.
We ban smoking but what of alcohol, fast food, carbon emissions and on it goes. Alcohol does more damage socially and medically than tobacco, and on that if you do get lung cancer and die at 50 is it really costing the tax payer more than it would cost to keep you if you live to be 90?
Funny how our freedom is always conditional.
Posted by nairbe, Friday, 6 August 2010 8:58:02 PM
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nairbe,

"That's the beauty of argument: If you argue correctly, you're never wrong." Nick Naylor, the 'Sultan of Spin' for tobacco, in Thank You for Smoking (2005).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBELC_vxqhI
Posted by Cornflower, Friday, 6 August 2010 9:56:57 PM
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I think Abbott will recind that law if he wins - just to please one of his major sponsors.
Posted by wobbles, Saturday, 7 August 2010 12:37:54 AM
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Nairbe <" Alcohol does more damage socially and medically than tobacco, and on that if you do get lung cancer and die at 50 is it really costing the tax payer more than it would cost to keep you if you live to be 90?"

Not really true though... I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this information: "Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death in the United States[3] and worldwide.[4] Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer)."

I have seen and nursed many patients who had a history of smoking, and quite a few live into their 70's and 80's - albeit with much worse health, and thus lifestyle, than the non-smokers of the same age.

While many retiree smokers stay home nursing their terrible chest problems and more, sucking on oxygen, the non-smokers are far more likely to be out there enjoying their retirement.
I know which retirement I would rather have!

The heavy drinkers don't live nearly as long- most alcoholics die quite young, unless they give it up early. Drinking alcohol in moderation doesn't lead to nearly as many health disorders as smoking,
whereas there is no safe level of smoking.

The tax revenue from tobacco smoking is obviously more lucrative to Governments than the medical costs of dealing with patients with smoke related disorders.
We need to make tobacco illegal as a start- then maybe later we can look at the other reasons for societies health problems
Posted by suzeonline, Saturday, 7 August 2010 1:09:24 AM
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While I agree that branding plays a large part in tabaco sales, I don't think it has much influence on kids having thier first drag, which, by the way, is where they start from.

Most kids either steal cigarettes or at least steal to get cigarettes, or, they purswade older kids to get them for them. The brand doesn't matter at that point.

Now as for Tony Abbott recinding the laws, well, I would rather suggest he would give much needed consideration to the law and its possible ramifications to smokers, retailers and all those indirectly involved with the habit. In fact, this is what he has said, but nice try from the labor lobiests and spin doctors.

In reality, the last thing he, or we, for that matter want, is yet another failed 'grocery watch', or 'fuel watch', as the present government has a trophy case full of 'rushed policy' failures.

Lastly, profits from selling cigarettes is miniscule, in % terms, however, retailers sell them simply as a method of getting someone into thier store/garage in the hope they will buy something else.

What irritates me is the way the checkout chick drops everything to serve someone with tabaco, yet leaves those buying goods to feed thier families hanging.

Smoking is almost impossible to stop and even harder to police. There is a fine for smoking in the wrong place, but it's the police who have to police it, so most get off scott free as we don't have the resources.

I think the answer is to tax it beyond belief and make sure the purchaser is aware they are being 'ripped off' when they buy.

I also think that wefare money should not be able to be used for tabaco.

I for one think this would have a major impact on smoking, more so than plain packaging.
Posted by rehctub, Saturday, 7 August 2010 6:50:12 AM
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Tobacco does kill people, cars kill more, australian education kills common sense.
Everything kills something or other. All we can do is to reduce the financial burden. Education is the one that offers no revenue only cost, it just keeps costing us more & more. No benefit whatsoever.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 7 August 2010 9:06:56 AM
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suzeonline, Yes the out right figure is there but what if you add any death where alcohol was involved. Murder and violent bashings, car accidents and so on. The number grows, add to this the social problems i mentioned, domestic violence being one of the most common and consider the cost to society. Actually i favour making tobacco illegal and treating it like heroin but this won't happen so i only ask for some equality in the way they apply their taxes. hugh taxes should be charged on fast food to help pay for obesity as an example.
Posted by nairbe, Saturday, 7 August 2010 4:36:35 PM
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nairbe,

You are right to criticise the focus on one killer seemingly to the absence of others, however that represents a rare win by activists. Government was dragged reluctantly into initiatives to reduce the use of tobacco, especially by youth. Some political parties notably the LNP in Australia, obviously still have problems with anything that could reduce profit for big business. Similarly the LNP is opposed to limiting junk advertising during kiddy TV, seeing the liberty of large junk food manufacturers to make bigger profits as trumping concerns about the unconscionable psychological manipulation of minors and the growth of childhood obesity and crippling diseases like diabetes 2.

The LNP, some might point out, is similarly opposed to initiatives to reduce binge drinking by teens, despite obvious links to violence.

What helped in the case of tobacco was the information from medical science of no 'safe' dosage of the carcinogens released by smoking. On the other hand, it is abuse of the drug alcohol that causes problems, while millions can consume it without serious negative effects at all. There is a difference with alcohol where use in some circumstances, examples being operating machinery or driving and there are severe punishments and public humiliation is deliberately encouraged for that. The same thinking applies to workplaces. Alcohol is highly taxed but not to the same level as tobacco, which would not be politically acceptable.
Posted by Cornflower, Saturday, 7 August 2010 6:17:30 PM
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Cornflower,

Quite right tobacco has no safe level of consumption, this is a good point and is justification for the hash treatment of this drug. But why then do we not make it illegal or stop the double standard and legalise many other drugs. Marihuana is a good example. Despite more recent medical evidence of negative psychological effects it still only has similar social impacts to those of alcohol. The biggest concern is children using it not adults, this stands for alcohol as well. In fact considering that marihuana can be eaten removing the need to smoke and the health effects of smoking, where is the problem. I have got a bit off point here but the core issue i have is the inconsistant standards we have in the application of regulation of all sorts of product from drugs to foods.
Am i the only one that sees this double standard as a major problem with our social standards. I really am left with little faith that the community could really care less about these problems so long as there are big profits and good super returns.
Posted by nairbe, Saturday, 7 August 2010 7:17:08 PM
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If you wanted to reduce rates of smoking, the minimum age would go up by a year each year, and smokes would be prescription-only.

If you want to make heaps of money, just fiddle around the edges and make it look like you are doing something, like taxing the heck out of it using the high moral ground of health concern pretense.
Posted by PatTheBogan, Saturday, 7 August 2010 8:28:51 PM
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Who would write the prescription?
Posted by Cornflower, Saturday, 7 August 2010 9:41:54 PM
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Excellent thread Rechtub.

I suggest the methods used when I had smoked for a couple of years [not through pregnancies, not at work, and not around my children]of a night outside.

. I bought a mountain bike years ago and ride [uphills were to deter and give up smoking]
- perhaps illustrating the pack with a mountain bike and person on it wheezing and expelling the phlegm may be of assistance
. An illustration of a packet of licorice and apples [both licorice and pectin in the apples cut my cravings as did mandarins and oranges]
. Include an illustration of a person swimming, walking and jogging, put some fun and romance into it, showing a couple meeting and kissing with fresh clear lungs and breaths
. Use an illustration of a person with a matchstick or toothpick in their mouth [has assisted many]
. Ban cigarettes ie 'no packets'most effective remedy
Posted by we are unique, Sunday, 8 August 2010 10:45:37 PM
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