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Australia's "Plain Packaging" Law Comes Into Effect

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Dutch

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Cigarettes packed in plain packaging have hit the shelves in Australia, making the Oceanic country the first in the world to have banned all tobacco company logos and colors from cigarette packets.

In August, the Associated Press reported that Australia's High Court had upheld the "world's toughest law on cigarette promotion" -- one that prohibits tobacco firms from branding cigarette packaging with distinctive colors, designs and logos.

According to the AFP, the new "plain packets" law came into effect in Australia on Saturday.

The news agency writes:

The new law, the first of its kind anywhere the world, came into force despite a vigorous legal challenge by big tobacco, which argued that the legislation infringed its intellectual property rights by banning trademarks.
All cigarettes will now have to be sold in identical, olive-brown packets bearing the same typeface and largely covered with graphic health warnings.

A cashier at a Sydney newsagent told AFP that many customers have said that they "find the new packaging, which must feature graphic images such as a gangrenous foot, mouth cancer or a skeletal man dying of cancer, off-putting."

"This is the last gasp of a dying industry," declared Australia's Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, according to the BBC.


The Australian government, which has been encouraging other countries to adopt similar laws, hopes the new packaging will make smoking "as unglamorous as possible," the AP reports.

"Plain packaging has taken the personality away from the pack," Anne Jones of the anti-smoking group Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) told the BBC. "Once you take away all the color coding and imagery and everything is standardized with massive health warnings, you really do de-glamorize the product."

As the Guardian notes, other countries, including those in the European Union, are already considering "similar steps."

According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health earlier this year, plain cigarette packages do make tobacco "less appealing." After surveying 640 Brazilian women, researchers from the University of Waterloo found that colorful branded packs were "more likely to receive higher ratings -- for flavor and appeal, for example -- than those with the plain packs."

"Plain packaging and removal of descriptors may reduce the appeal of smoking for youth and young adults, and consequently reduce smoking susceptibility," the researchers wrote in the study. "Overall, the findings provide support for plain packaging regulations, such as those proposed in Australia."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/01/australia-cigarette-plain-packaging-law_n_2224598.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D240472
 

Simple Man

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Bandaid fixes, makes TPTB feel like they are doing something. The US gov't is supposed to implement the same type packaging on snack foods at some point. I can't wait, because I know the only reason I buy those horrible Oreo cookies is because I LOVE the blue packaging. No way would I buy them in a white package! :twisted:

As for graphic images, maybe they need to put an image of two 400lb people watching tv in their undies on the package of Big Macs... ridiculous ideas brought to you by Big Brother, "We know what's best for you, stop thinking and listen to our voice."
 

Dutch

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I find it amazing how a segment of the population is vilified for choosing to use tobacco, always justified by the health problems as well as death, which will eventually come anyway, approximately 7 years later.

What about the health issues and death associated with public and private transportation? Hell, I am even required in my state to maintain liability insurance on my pickup and motorcycle. They must be expecting there is a pretty good chance someone is going to need and ambulance or a hearse. No doubt we could all go back to the eco friendly horse and buggy, and live healthier lives!

Why can't I just get an additional rider added to my BCBS to cover my second and third hand smoke. That way the nannies can rest easy, and just STFU! :roll:
 

KevinM

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Every problem is an opportunity. Since the packages are standardized companies could produce and sell separately cases with artwork to fit.
 
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