Plain packs plain expensive

The big guns are lining up on Ireland.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain have all lodged objections to Ireland’s proposed cigarette “plain packaging” laws.

The tobacco companies are priming their legal teams to bring Ireland to court if the laws are enacted.

So let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the plain packaging argument –


There is zero proof that plain packaging will have any effect.  The only studies done here basically just asked children if they liked pretty colours, which is worse than meaningless.  In Australia, where they have had “plain packs” for some time, the only people to benefit are the back street traders.  Smoking rates remained virtually unaffected.

We are off the Christmas Card list of a fair chunk of the EU.

If the tobacco companies take the case to court [and they have every indication of doing so] then the cost to the Irish taxpayer [smokers and non-smokers] will be enormous.  If the companies win, then the likelihood is that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill not only for the court but also pay billions in compensation.

Confidence in Ireland as a trading base will be severely corroded, not just in the tobacco industry but also in the confectionery, food and drink industries who also potentially could lose their branding rights.

There will be severe adverse effects on the retail industry.


It will satisfy the wet dreams of a tiny handful of fascist zealots who will stop at nothing in their hatred for smokers and tobacco.

And that’s all.  This proposal will not have any effect on smoking rates amongst adults or children, but it will cost us dearly.  It is just part of a religious crusade based on blind hatred and zero logic.

It is time to put a halt to this insanity.

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Plain packs plain expensive — 8 Comments

    • This is the time to pull out of this mad scheme. The further they go in, the harder it will be to pull out [*as the bishop said to the actress?*].

  1. I believe that smoking rates in Australia have actually gone up slightly, and of course the figures are based on licit tobacco sales – they can only estimate the size of the black market, but anecdotally it is huge and growing rapidly since the double whammy of swingeing tax hikes and grotesque packaging.
    I never trust the figures pertaining to smoking prevalence anyway, as an awful lot of smokers will deny being a smoker when asked. In UK it is reckoned to be about 19%, but my observations of Brits on holiday here would put that figure closer to 40%, and I’m being conservative.

    • Indeed rates have reportedly gone up, but unlike the Antis I don’t put much weight on a percentage point or two.

      I completely agree about the reported figures. They have “denormalised” smoking to such an extent that some people are reluctant to admit they enjoy a fag or two. If suddenly smoking became “normal” and even fashionable, you’d find the reported figures would go through the roof.

  2. "When a state lodges proposals with the European Commission, the country implementing a new law has to obey a three-month “stand still” period, when it cannot adopt draft laws without the all clear from Europe. "

    Are you fucking kidding me?  A country can't pass any laws without Europes approval.  I can't imagine a state here having to ask federal permission to implement a law. 

    • I'm not fucking kidding!  Not only does the [unelected] commission have a veto on national laws, but the [unelected] commission produces its own laws by the lorry load which take precedence over national laws.

      Welcome to the Democratic Fourth Reich!

  3. this gave me a right giggle this morning…to anyone who is sane the government that calls itself Ireland is bust, decrepit, bankrupt, beyond redemption and should be put out of its misery but seems insanity is running rampant…

    Ireland’s public debt has rocketed to 124pc of GDP from 25pc in 2007, partly due to the toxic effects of prolonged recession, and partly the result of a taxpayer rescue for Anglo Irish Bank and four other lenders in the white heat of the financial crisis

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