Friday 17 January 2014

New Study Finally Cuts The Crap About Plain Packaging

In their ever-more frantic clamour to come up with convincing 'evidence' with which to con other countries into adopting plain packaging like Australia stupidly has, the tobacco control industry has just released a new study.

Like others before, it divorces itself entirely from the arguments used globally to promote plain packaging as a policy in the first place. As Cancer Council Victoria proudly explains:
Smokers are less willing to display their packs in public and smoke in outdoor areas since plain packaging was introduced, new research has found. 
The Cancer Council Victoria research, published in Addiction journal today, aimed to evaluate whether cigarette pack display (packs visible on tables) and smoking at outdoor venues changed following the introduction of plain packaging and larger graphic health warnings in December 2012. 
Quit Victoria Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said plain packaging and the larger graphic health warnings meant smokers did not want to advertise their habit.
You see, yer average Joe thought that it was about the children, probably because that's all they were told publicly by tobacco control HQ. When calling for a ban on coloured packs, it is always couched as being for the children. Always the children. It's all you will see in any tweet, press release, call to authority or expensive taxpayer-funded advertising campaign prior to achieving their legislation.

When campaigning, though, they barely whisper that the real plan was always to prevent smokers enjoying their freedom of choice, as I described almost two years ago.
Now, I've seen many a 'meh' reaction to this initiative, some from those who should know better. They think this is just an attack on the tobacco industry and doesn't affect smokers at all.

Sadly, they couldn't be more wrong. ASH explains why here.
Smokers display the branding every time they take out their pack to smoke. In doing so they are making a statement about how they want to be seen by others as they display and endorse the brand they have chosen.
Y'see, ASH don't want smokers to be able to make any statement, they only want them to be denormalised. That's why plain packs must be bullied through at any cost.

Can't have smokers believing they have a sense of identity or worth, now can we?

In fact, one of the reasons Aussie MPs fell in love with plain packaging enough to pass the law down there, was precisely the attractive nature - one might even call it 'glitzy' - of how it impinged on smokers' self-expression.
The study showed how cigarette brands and cigarette package designs gave meaning to personal characteristics, to social identity and to positions in hierarchies of status. (page 6)

Pack design doesn’t just communicate the ‘personality’ of a cigarette brand to the smoker... it also allows smokers to project these characteristics to others when they handle and display the package throughout their daily routines. Just as designer clothing, accessories and cars serve as social cues to style, status, values and character, so too can cigarette packs signify a range of attributes about users. As ‘badge products’, cigarettes can reinforce the characteristics conjured by brand image.(page 7)
Identity? Style? Status? Values? Character? These aren't attributes any self-respecting anti-smoker wants tobacco consumers to be able to enjoy. They must be stamped out at any cost.

Any fool knows that smokers must only be seen as malodourous, litterers, selfish and thoughtless, unattractive and undesirable, undereducated and a social underclass, addicts, excessive users of public health services, and employer liabilities. And how do fools know this? Because the prime architect of plain packing laws in Australia, Simon Chapman, told them all of the above in 2002.

Make no mistake. This is just the latest attack on all smokers. Further heavy-handed denormalisation tactics aimed not at industry, but at individuals who choose to smoke.
The children, you say? Nah, they've served their purpose, that's yesterday's news. So it's nice to see that this latest study has decided to cut the crap and admit what the whole plain packs charade has always been about. It's just a shame for tobacco control that the study itself is full of more crap, as I highly recommend you discover by reading Snowdon's take on it this morning.

The goal of plain packaging has only ever been about bullying smokers and those who provide products that smokers willingly buy. It has never been about children, which is why no study yet is remotely interested in monitoring underage take-up of smoking more than a year after plain packaging's introduction in Australia.

Of course, admitting that to politicians while campaigning wouldn't impress them much. Hence why tobacco control is still lying the big one here and in Ireland.

It's not about the children, never has been. But then, when has the anti-smoking crusade ever been about anything it claims in public, eh?


JonathanBagley said...

What a lot of nonsense these people talk. If they wish to express their personalities via their smoking habits, smokers can do so by buying cigarette cases. Flipping open a silver case was always a proxy for suavity and sophistication in the movies.

Ivan_Denisovich said...

Politicians everywhere should perhaps take note that the legislation down under was introduced by one of the most incompetent and unpopular western governments of all time. The only thing our alleged representatives seem to understand is the possibility of being so unpopular that they are booted out of office. Appealing to their intellect, rationality or sense of fair play appears to be pointless.

moonrakin said...


Legiron said...

I've been using a cigarette case for a little over a year - and just bought a shiny new one for under a fiver. They can do what they like to the packs. I don't use them.

Rursus said...

Why, are they less willing to display their packs?

How about a simple answer?

All packs are look the same! There is the danger of mix-ups with other packs on the table!

David davis said...

What we can do is "resettle" all these nasty bansturbator-Nazis somewhere where there is nothing of what they say that they don't like and that other people mustn't have.

Spitzbergen would be good, but it's rather large and therefore some of them night survive a year or even more. The South Sandwich islands, all being a lot smaller and if also loaded with thousands and thousands of GramscoFabiaNazi each, will introduce a sufficient level of intra-specific-competition between the many transported-hominids such that most of them will be killed, butchered and eaten raw in desperation by the stronger ones. (We shan't be sending them any fuels, for they don't like those.)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Which they are - oddly - counting as some kind of success in the study. It's funny how easily convinced they are when desperate for self-endorsement.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Very good point. Considering these people obsess about smoking morning, noon and night, there's a chance someone would have suggested that but been told to pipe down and get with the program.

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

When will these people be prosecuted for fraud?

Not anytime soon, I'll wager, because those who ought to be doing the job are as fraudulent as they.

What's the difference between government and organised crime?


Jay said...

..and the lack of willingness is described as smokers not wanting to advertise their habit LOL Do they think smokers believe they smoke invisible cigarettes?

truckerlyn said...

And much of the problem is that EVERYTHING is based on purely academics, which does not suit everyone, instead of a more rounded education to include practical subjects, that may be for some the right road to go in continuing education rather than castigating those that cannot grasp complex maths or advanced English!

As for this pathetic mob in government just now, bringing everything back to solely exams is plain stupid! At age 15/16 there are all kinds of hormonal and psychological changes taking place and this, along with the fact that some people just don't function well in an exam environment, no matter how intelligent they are, is a total recipe for disaster. It would be laughable if it wasn't for the fact their stupid and ill thought out schemes aren't likely to put a lot of intelligent youngsters on the scrap heap before they have even started living!

Comes back to what I oft say - we are not all the same and will not, no matter how hard governments try, all fit into the same little square box!

truckerlyn said...

About 18 years ago, when my daughter was 12/13 we spoke to the head of her school, who had just brought in a school rule about not taking kids out of school for holidays during term time, and explained that we had for years, since she was a baby, in fact, gone to a Country and Western Festival each year, and this only took place one week each year in October. We had decided that we would continue to take her until the 2 years prior to her exams. We were also part of the 'show team' and our daughter often played a part in the evening shows we put on.

The head was very reasonable and allowed us to take her out of school as he felt she would benefit more from this week away than she would at school!

In fact, sometime later, she questioned her history teacher about certain 'facts' she was teaching relating to the American Civil War and proved she was right the next day by taking in books and encyclopedias.

With the current law, again, government hasn't thought it through! Firstly, there is the cost involved which puts school holiday time way out of the equation for many families; secondly there is the work issue. If a small company or departments in large companies have many employees with school age children, it would not be possible for them all to take holiday during the school holiday time, particularly Easter and Summer! Apart from that, I seem to recall when government talked about this measure that they were also going to do something about the huge hike in prices by travel companies and airlines, such as spreading the cost out throughout the year! Obviously another scam on the part of the government!