Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greed as justice, addiction as freedom, law as crime

Welcome to the warped marketing of Tobacco industry protectionism...

Would you believe that enforced change to packaging of cigarettes would deliver us all to evil?

No I wouldn’t either.

“A short film that appears to be based on a John le Carre spy novel - think people smugglers, prostitutes, terrorists - is the latest salvo in the tobacco industry's battle against federal government plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. According to the seven-minute film by British American Tobacco, the proposal will cause organised crime gangs to flourish, encouraging the syndicates to use their networks to flood Australia with smuggled drugs, weapons and cigarettes. Replete with scenes of menacing Russian mobsters, exploding cars, street prostitutes and drug-addled teens, the film is part of a global campaign to block Australian anti-smoking health reforms that could set a commercially damaging precedent for the international tobacco industry.”

Our country, our laws. Deal with it.

It’s not in any way a smoking ban. You can still light up that filth and cost ME tax-money in future treatment for related illnesses. It’s just a control on the packaging – like a control on the advertising. Designed to stop impressionable kids being sucked into the habit.

At the same time of course they have commercials running about nanny statism. Apparently the definition of a nanny state is one that protects the health of its citizens instead of cigarette sales. Go figure.

“British American Tobacco Australia spokeswoman Louise Warburton refused to comment on the film when contacted by The Sunday Age”

Why? Can’t do it without the Russian mobster props?

And to quote Simon Chapman from back on the 9th:

“ With the passage of the government’s bill on plain packaging now assured by the support of the opposition, the Greens and all but one of the independents, an ever-desperate tobacco industry is now concentrating on the legal apocalypse that they say will descend on Australia through the courts.

These arguments are all a paper-thin house of cards, starting with the central problem that plain packaging will not extinguish brand identities. All brands will still carry brand names allowing smokers to clearly exercise their freedom of choice to select between the much-vaunted but mostly non-existent differences in brands. This is critical, because in the highly unlikely event of a ruling by the High Court in favour of the industry, all calculations of compensation will need to take account that branding differences have only been diminished, not extinguished.

Given that some 30-40 nations now have appropriated massive sections of packs with graphic warnings and that not a cent has been claimed or awarded in brand damage anywhere in the world for this egregious assault on brand identity, the prospects of any claim for huge compensation even in the unlikely event of a favourable ruling are vanishingly small. “

related post from January


  1. And here in the US of A, we have Republicans introducing legislation that would immunize the tobacco industry against many FDA regulations preventing them from making tobacco more addictive and marketing it to children. As a person who engages in this filthy habit, I find this reprehensible. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind if the price of a pack cost $10 or if cigs were just outlawed altogether.

  2. I've had some moderate success in talking smokers out of the habit...