What the hell is this obsession with plain packs on cigarettes?
There are two items in today's news – one that the tobacco companies are going to demand compensation here and the other that the UK is off on the bandwagon again.
Australia are a year of plain packs and so far the only results have been that more smokers may have actually thought about quitting but in fact haven't, and that there has been a massive boom in smuggled and forged cigarettes. [Chris Snowdon has an interesting take on the "compelling evidence" from the Antipodes]
Logic alone will tell that this is a nonsensical move. Where are the kids supposed to be seeing these "glitzy" packs that the Antis want to ban? They don't see them advertised because all advertising is banned. They can't see them in the shops because it's illegal even to give a glimpse of any kind of tobacco display. The only place they can possibly see a pack is in the street by which time presumably they have already purchased them?
The hysterical screeches from across the water show the level of self delusion that's at play here –
“The evidence to support standardised packaging is clear. The consensus is overwhelming. We don’t need any further delay while 570 children are lighting up for the first time every day.”
Apart from the evidence being non-existent and there being a consensus only amongst the Control Fascists, why the hell can't they just apply the law as it stands, and has stood for many years – no sales to under 18s?
“This decision is a victory for public health, for common sense and for future generations who will as a result be protected from glitzy, colourful and misleading tobacco packaging."
So "protecting kids from glitzy packaging is somehow going to succeed where every single other measure has failed abysmally?
Plain packs will have a huge impact on the market all right. Smugglers and counterfeiters will make a fortune. Manufacturers of covers and cigarette cases will do very well. Tobacco retailers will find their work cut out double checking all sales. Governments will lose out massively on revenue from tax and excise, and smokers will carry on as normal.
I can't help but wonder what insane scheme the Fascists will dream up next.