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Plain Packaging Laws not contrary to Constitution

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High Court of Australia (HCA) handed down it's decision on whether the 'plain packaging' laws were unconstitutional with regards to s51(xxxi) - "Just Terms". The HCA found that the Act was not contrary to the constitution, but the actual reasoning (and number of judges in the majority) will be published at a later date.

 

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Such great fuss for something that'll not make a rats arse of difference people decide to take up smoking or quit.

 

FTR - I stopped a month ago.

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Bad luck to the evil corporations making a profit selling a product that kills the people that consumes said product. I smoke btw (gave up once for 13 months!). Nice work Rybags, keep up the good fight :)

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Such great fuss for something that'll not make a rats arse of difference people decide to take up smoking or quit.

Sure, if you ignore the evidence collected on the subject and just go with your good ole feelings on the matter, that's a very fun conclusion.

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I don't think anyone objects that smoking is bad, but people do it because they want to. What is written on the packet has fuck all to do with it.

I smoked for a few years, casually, still do have one every now and then when I want to. I think its a waste of time and effort trying to fight it, would be much better spent helping those who want help to quit instead.

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FTR - I stopped a month ago.

Well done, I'm at 20 months and never felt better. Also having money is great.

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The attraction of smoking for kids is in the act - partially the cool factor, partially the rebellious nature of it, partially the buzz and taste of the actual product.

 

The packaging is next to meaningless. When I was 14-18, mates and I tried practically every brand on the market. The chosen brands were based generally on taste, cost next. What was on the packet never really figured.

 

You put the cigarette in your mouth, the packet is in your pocket or on the table except for those few seconds it takes to pull a fag out.

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FTR - I stopped a month ago.

Well done mate.

 

Very happy for this decision on packaging.

 

On another societal-scale, substance abuse note...proposal for Friday and Saturday bans on shots, doubles, ready-to-drink beverages and glassware, limiting no more than four drinks may be purchased at a time after midnight, having two responsible service of alcohol "marshalls'' patrolling all venues serving alcohol from 11pm and alcohol sales ceasing one hour before closing in Kings Cross is soon to close the period for licensees to respond.

 

Go Barry. Pushing the problem to the streets while simultaneously cutting the resources to manage them.

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Nice planes...

 

I remember the one where you could make origami man out of the empty cig packet, and you pulled his head away from the legs and his schlong would pop out.

 

NFI how you make it though, haven't seen it done in years.

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Nice planes...

I do my humble best to provide for the Cigarette Packet-Miniature Jet Fighter-Making community.

 

EDIT: Speeling

Edited by krispy89

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You're right. Evidence is for pussies.

Please provide a link to the evidence that suggests packets have anything to do with the problem, in Australia.

In WA you can't even see the packets, they are all locked away in special cupboards already, you have to ask for cigarettes by name. I am not sure if the rest of Australia is like this.

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Bad luck to the evil corporations making a profit selling a product that kills the people that consumes said product. I smoke btw (gave up once for 13 months!). Nice work Rybags, keep up the good fight :)

Talk to you doc about Champix, I am on it now, haven't smoked for 5 weeks {:)

 

You're right. Evidence is for pussies.

Please provide a link to the evidence that suggests packets have anything to do with the problem, in Australia.

 

http://bit.ly/RVUoUR

 

Through that I found this http://theconversation.edu.au/the-evidence...mokers-off-1443 .

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Good news. The Tobbaco companies having to pay the commonwealths legal bill is pretty sweet to.

 

As for whether it will "work". If packaging doesn't matter the retail, advertising and branding industries have wasted untold trillions worldwide over the last hundred years. I reckon they may have an inkling that appearance does matter very much to the desirability of a product.

 

Why else would they care?

Edited by Hlass

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Shouldn't the title be "Big Stupid Wins Court Battle?"

 

I don't smoke, never have and I hate having to breathe second-hand smoke so I support banning smoking in public places but in the race to peak stupid it looks like govcorp has won this round. Instead of crying to big brother to increase the insidious nanny state maybe you'd be better off EDUCATING your kids (and yourselves) about how advertising and propaganda works? Maybe instead of raising little sheeple who rely on govcorp to do the thinking for them you can teach them (and yourself) to do your own thinking. Instead of classifying everything in terms of illegal/legal you could try right/wrong or smart/stupid. In this context you could explain the dangers of nicotine, heroin, alcohol etc and explain why people take those drugs in the first place?

 

Or you could, you know, just go where you are led, do as you are told, don't ask questions and praise Big Brother for everything they do to keep you safe from having to lead your own life.

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You're right. Evidence is for pussies.

Does the evidence really support plain packaging? I don't think your one line digs at Rybags really answer that :P

 

There is a review of the evidence by the anti-cancer council here

 

The question being asked by Rybags is, will it make a difference to the number of smokers?

 

Extracted from the summary -

 

The main findings from this compilation of literature are as follows:

•In a worldwide environment of increasing prohibition of tobacco advertising and sponsorship, the cigarette pack has become the key marketing tool employed by the tobacco industry to attract and retain customers. (Section 3)

•The tobacco industry uses cigarette pack technologies and innovations in design to communicate particular attributes about each brand and by extension the personality and social status of its users. (Section 4)

•Current pack colours and imagery can dilute the impact of graphic health warnings. (Section 5.2.1)

•Unregulated package colouring and imagery contribute to consumers’ misperceptions that certain brands are safer than others. Removing colours from cigarette packs and misleading terms such as ‘smooth’, ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ would reduce false beliefs about the harmfulness of cigarettes. (Section 5.2.2)

•Adults and adolescents perceive cigarettes in plain packs to be less appealing, less palatable, less satisfying and of lower quality compared to cigarettes in current packaging. Plain packaging would also affect young people’s perceptions about the characteristics and status of the people who smoke particular brands. (Section 5.2.3)

•Plain packaging featuring larger graphic health warnings (75% front of pack) will both reduce the appeal of the pack and strengthen the impact of the warnings. (Section 5.2.4)

 

Reading the above, the main reasons being put forward for plain packaging reducing the number of smokers are :

1) Current brand colours and imagery dilute the impact of the health warning messages

2) Plain wrap packs are perceived to be less appealing, less palatable, less satisfying and of lower quality compared to cigarettes in current packaging

 

Taking the first point, fancy packs dilute the health warnings. If you look at the report section 5.2.1, this fact is backed up by 4 related studies. From what I can gather, none of these studies were conducted in Australia. Why is this relevant? In 2006 Australia introduced the graphical/ pictorial warnings on cigarette packs. The studies supporting the dilution fact were carried out in 1992, 1995, 1999 and 2007. I don't know for sure, but given that the studies weren't carried out in Australia and were carried out prior to the large graphical/pictorial health warnings, I'd suggest that the results reported are comparing plain packaging to packaging with no or minor warnings such as the old text only "Smoking Kills" warnings.

 

*IF* this is the case, then the impact of plain packaging on this point alone, is being inflated.

 

Looking at the second point, the report is actually backed up by studies in 2010 & 2011 and some in Australia, so we have data relevant to our packaging standards.

 

These studies show that plain packaging GREATLY reduces the appeal of that particular brand. From the report :

The researchers found that removing descriptors and colours from packs substantially reduced the appeal of female‐oriented brands for female smokers: for example, the appeal of Capri Cherry fell from 67% to 17% among women who viewed plain packs without the word ‘Cherry’. Plain packs were also associated with significantly fewer positive characteristics than fully branded packs, including glamour, being slim, popular, attractive and sophisticated. Of particular note, young women in the plain pack condition were significantly less likely to believe that smoking helps people stay slim compared to participants in the no descriptors condition. Findings were similar in the US study. Among smokers who requested a pack at the end of the study, female branded packs were three times more likely to be selected than plain packs.

 

This indicates to me that the imagery, etc plays a part in which brand I smoke as they are comparing plain packaged to non-plain packaged, but does it stop me from taking it up or get me to stop smoking?

 

A 2010 study in NZ showed the following :

 

The study examined the combined effects of health warnings and plain packaging on the likelihood of young adults 18 to 30 years engaging in behaviours known to be linked to cessation. Smokers in this study were asked which pack they would be most and least likely to choose each time they were repeatedly presented with four cigarette packets featuring different branding and warning size combinations. Packs with the greatest number of branding elements were still preferred even when the warnings were increased from 30 to 50%. However they were less likely to be chosen with a 75% warning. Plain packets with 75% health warnings were significantly more likely to elicit stronger cessation‐linked intentions (to reduce the amount smoked; increase quit attempts; increase help‐seeking to quit) than were branded packs with a 30% front‐of‐pack warnings.

 

This supports the increase in the size of health warnings (though I don't know what the size of the health warnings were in NZ at the time).

 

And, it shows that the bigger the warning the more noises people make about quiting which is a good thing.

 

Sooooo, getting back to the question on whether or not it will have a reasonable/sizable impact on the number of smokers, well I dont think the evidence is that clear cut.

 

Oh, and congrats Rybags on giving up!

 

(FTR - I don't work for a tobacco or related company and I never smoked apart from trying it a few times at high school)

Edited by Mac Dude

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Obviously a multi pronged approach is needed to steer kids away and convince older people to stop.

I don't see plain packaging as being a very big prong, even if you plastered both sides with graphic images of green feet and black lungs.

 

Maybe if they put an actual black lung biopsy in randomly selected packs it'd make more difference.

 

The concealed sales area - it's been the case here for about 3 years or more too.

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In my current job I have to sell them sometimes, I am yet to see anyone buy them on packaging, the laws are becoming a pita for us as well, people get pissed when they ask for the cheapest pack of like 20's or something and I can't serve them because its now against the law in QLD to tell them prices unless they specify a brand and size, not to mention the multitude of other BS we have to adhere to, we can't display them, we can't leave the draws open ever, we can't have any of them visible when we get our order in ect.

 

Honestly I couldn't give a fuck, so much for a free country.

 

FTR I don't smoke I just hate seeing pointless laws enforced.

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WHO has praised the move and a handful of other countries are looking to move on our example. Excellent, we should be proud that we will make such a splendid precedent.

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WHO has praised the move and a handful of other countries are looking to move on our example. Excellent, we should be proud that we will make such a splendid precedent.

Just like the carbon tax.

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WHO has praised the move and a handful of other countries are looking to move on our example. Excellent, we should be proud that we will make such a splendid precedent.

Just like the carbon dioxide tax.

 

 

FIFY

 

(And dammit you beat me to it. )

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Nah some countires beat us by 20 years on Carbon taxation.

 

But brown paper durries, that we can all be proud of!

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I was going to post a long reply, but you know what? Fuck it. I've already done that in the two threads (at least) we had in the lead-up, and it's obvious that the people I replied to in those threads haven't changed their opinions.

 

If this is going to have no impact on sales, then the tobacco companies would not have risked millions fighting it.

They would not have wasted millions, threatening the government in the media.

They would not have given millions to the retail associations.

 

Big Tobacco know they need to pick their fights, because every time they do, they piss off members of the public who didn't really give a shit before.

 

It's accepted in advertising, that the strongest brand endorsement isn't word of mouth, it's the visibility of usage.

Tobacco companies have spent a lot of time working on this, and at least three of the biggies have overhauled their packaging to appeal to the 21-30 market in the last 10 years. I know, because I read their own promotional material at the time of the overhauls (I was working in retail at one of the largest cigarette selling outlets in terms of yearly volume in Melbourne).

 

These laws aren't designed to stop you smoking. The government shovels money into QUIT, because it's cheaper to burn money trying to convince smokers that they should keep trying to quit, than it is to fix them up when they get sick. Hell, it's not like excise covers the medical costs, much as smokers whine about being over taxed.

 

MacDude: To my understanding, the argument only works where brand recognition does not improve selling. Quoting this from the full PDF (http://www.cancer.org.au/file/policypublications/position_statements/tcuccvbkgrndresrchplainpak190511reend_final2.pdf) :

 

"In 1995 an expert panel provided to the Canadian Department of Health a comprehensive review of

the likely effects of plain packaging entitled When Packages Can’t Speak: Possible Impacts of Plain

and Generic Packaging of Tobacco Products."

 

"The national survey of adolescents showed that teenagers were highly aware of cigarette brands.

Around 90% were able to recognize the two major Canadian brands even when brand names were

removed from packaging, with teenagers who were experimenting with smoking on average able to

recognise 2.9 brands and regular/frequent teenage smokers 5.9. For all brands, ‘package

approaches’ were the first thing mentioned by the majority of respondents who correctly identified

the brand as methods by which companies promoted awareness of brands."

 

So when you combine the tobacco companies' own acknowledgement that they target packaging at age groups, with the evidence that brand recognition happens regardless of whether the brand is written on the package, with the fact that brands like Dunhill can sell fragrances and cheap suits at exorbitant prices, you get a better picture.

 

Smoker: Answer this truthfully, do you ever accept a cigarette from someone if they offer you a dunhill, where normally you wouldn't? Because I've seen it happen, many times among smokers I know. The perceived value of the product is higher, and it's centred around the brand. And part of it is the exquisite packaging.

 

Those of you laughing at my post, this is the short version. :P

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