Friday, 8 February 2013

New Zealand Public Rejects Plain Packaging

So, we've seen half a million oppose plain packaging in the UK against just under 60% fewer in favour.

But, there has been a consultation on the same hideous policy in New Zealand too, if you remember. It was run on carbon copy lines to ours but there were early signs that things might not be going to plan there either.
A month after consultation on its plain packaging regime for cigarettes closed, the Ministry of Health will not say how many submissions it received. 
The government has agreed in principle to introduce plain packaging laws for tobacco products, subject to the outcome of a consultation process. 
Yet the October 5 deadline for submissions passed unannounced, suggesting the number received in opposition could be huge.
That was four months ago, but here's the latest news from government owned national broadcaster TV New Zealand.

Indeed, this is so. The NZ government has just revealed that - despite a state-funded campaign in favour - responses received on the spiteful idea were almost 60% against.

The TVNZ reporter seems to think we should be surprised by this. I mean, doesn't everyone know by now that if any policy bashes smokers it is a good thing?

He also mentions something else which is quite revealing.
"The association representing convenience retailers [claim] some of those submissions supporting plain packaging were made multiple times by the same person" 
Hmm, sounds familiar. I believe we saw the same principle with the UK consultation, didn't we?
"You can only vote once on each petition, but I would seriously doubt that there will be cross checking between charity petitions so it may be worth signing all of them to get your money's worth"
So, perhaps it wasn't only the UK template for campaigning they copied, then.


Fred Barboo said...

The reporter is probably just bitter that he's too young to buy tobacco....

Steve Wintersgill said...

Worryingly though, we already know that they don't really care what we think. It will, however, be interesting to see how they spin the post-consultative policy making.

nisakiman said...

They'll probably say (in both countries) that because the tobacco industry encouraged people to participate in the consultation that the votes against plain packaging have been declared invalid, thus leaving them with massive public support for the idea. And on that basis (the massive public support plus all the "scientific evidence" showing how successful it is / will be) they will be introducing plain packaging forthwith.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"They'll probably say (in both countries) that because the tobacco industry encouraged people to participate in the consultation that the votes against plain packaging have been declared invalid"

Funny you should say that, keep watching this space in the next few days. ;)

Junican said...

It is probable that both here and in NZ the legislation will be shoved through. This is because politicians do not realise that the actually ARE NOT obliged BY LAW to implement the Framework Convention. There is no such law. Any Sovereign State has a perfect right to decide not to implement anything which it wishes not to. Treaties do not constitute LAW - they are just informal agreements. I use the word 'informal' advisedly since they are, and are intended to be, short-term.
What I believe is likely to happen is that the Zealots will continue to get away with their mad ramblings for the time being, but there will come a tipping point. Regarding tobacco, the tipping point could easily arrive. People who smoke a lot will find other sources of tobacco. But the really important thing is that those who smoke only a little (say, five cigs per day) just stop. That is not what Government want. Government wants a nice, gradual 2% per an reduction. But we all know that it does not work that way.
Government depends upon the 'light' smokers to continue to buy their 5 cigs per day. The 50 per day (if they have any sense) will already have made 'alternative arrangements'. When the 5 per day people realise that they can very easily, for a few pounds, cut their costs by about 80%, the Government take from tobacco will dissolve.
Because of the decimation of the pub industry, the Gov must already be feeling the effects of the loss of VAT income from alcohol, even if not Duty income. It must be so.
The problem. of course, is that politicians never ever see the root of the problem. They blunder about, hither and thither, That is because they create committees of which the membership is precisely the people who created the problem in the first place.
Our political system stinks worse than smokers. It is not difficult to see why. It is because the BIG, IMPORTANT MATTERS are undecided. They should be decided and sorted post haste.
Question: Who permitted the EU to have any involvement in in HEALTH?