There is an article in the Irish Examiner.
As this article concerns Cancer Research UK, I can only surmise that it's printed there for the benefit of the Irish government?
I read the article and the main thing that struck me is that they don't cite any source for this statement. Their only mention of a "study" is the old chestnut that children don't like drab colours? Could it be that they say it's a success therefore it's a success?
Maybe they should have read the Examiner's own article from last April – "Oz sales fail to prove plain cigarette packs work"? [I should point out that the Examiner is not exactly known to be the smoker’s friend]
“Smoking rates have fallen, more people than ever support standard packs and scare stories about flooding the market with cheap, illegal tobacco have failed to materialise. It’s been a resounding success in Australia and we’re confident the same can happen here. [my emphasis]
So where did this come from then – Illegal tobacco 'at record levels' in Australia?
I would like to point them towards Christopher Snowdon's article from the I.E.A. – "Plain packaging – what happened next?" – which not only suggests that smoking rates increased post plain packaging, but smoking amongst the 12 to 17 year group increased also.
Or maybe they should ask the Australian National University?
Ronald Coase famously argued that if you tortured the data long enough they would confess. In this paper we have tortured the data, but there has been no confession. At best, we can determine the plain packaging policy introduced in December 2012 has not reduced household expenditure of tobacco once we control for price effects, or the long-term decline of tobacco expenditure, or even the latent attributes of the data.
To the contrary, we are able to find a suggestion that household expenditure of tobacco has, ceteris paribus, increased. In our forecasting exercise the actual data come close to breaking through the 80 per cent confidence interval. While we do not want to over-emphasise these results, we do conclude that any evidence to suggest that the plain packaging policy has reduced household expenditure on tobacco is simply lacking.
Seeing as every one of their statements is contradicted by facts, how can Cancer Research UK claim that plain packaging has been a success?
a) They are severely deluded?
b) They live on a different planet?
c) They are deliberately lying through their teeth?
Answers on a postcard…….