Monday, 24 March 2014

Real Life Interrupts Australian Wet Dreams

Oh dear.

We've been told that Australian smokers think their fags taste shite since plain packaging came in; that Australian smokers were calling the Quitline in droves; and that Australian smokers were ashamed of displaying their packs. All of this meant that plain packs were a fantastic idea and evidence of an upcoming epiphany as antipodean smokers abandoned tobacco wholesale while Simon Chapman and Nicola Roxon preened themselves in anticipation of receiving a Nobel Prize for something-or-other.

But what's this? All those studies from the oh-so-scrupulous tobacco control industry have been overly-optimistic? Say it ain't so!
Deliveries of tobacco to retailers in Australia rose slightly last year for the first time in at least five years, even after the introduction of plain packaging aimed at deterring smokers, according to industry sales figures to be released on Monday. 
In 2013, the first full year of plain packaging, tobacco companies sold the equivalent of 21.074 billion cigarettes in Australia, according to industry data provided by Marlboro maker Philip Morris International. 
That marks a 0.3 per cent increase from 2012, and reverses four straight years of declines. 
The figures represent the amount of tobacco shipped to retailers in Australia by companies including Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco Group . 
But, but, that's impossible, surely? We were told this was a ground-breaker, a massive fillip for global fake coughers and hand-wavers everywhere. I mean, how can it be that - despite all these wildly enthusiastic predictions of success - in less than a week we have seen real evidence of organised crime moving in on tobacco and an abrupt end to years of declining tobacco sales?

How are Aussie tobacco control going to spin their way out of this one, eh?

Well, they only know one way, don't they?

Except that it simply doesn't work in this instance. Reporting of tobacco sales will be pored over by real experts (as opposed to fake ones of the tobacco control variety) in accountancy and business because, y'see, shareholders get mighty pissed off if they're misled and stock exchanges get twitchy and involve the police. So, yes, these figures will be open to scrutiny like a mofo.

With the Chantler review due to report by the end of the month, and considering that the British public - despite a state-funded campaign of endemic rigging, corruption, gerrymandering, misrepresentation of science, and government lobbying government - has overwhelmingly identified plain packs as the pointless, tobacco industry-bashing, rent-seeking nonsense that it is ...

... Sir Cyril should really only have one recommendation to offer the UK government after this bombshell. And that is to sit back and watch as it tanks in Australia.

But then, we're living in strange times where righteous fantasy seems to count for more than what happens in real life and the preferences of the public, so who knows what will happen?


Jay said...

Not that I want to help out the prohibitionist, socialist, anti-liberty idiots working in tobacco control, but I'm surprised they're not spin-screaming "manufactured cigarettes sold down!" whilst ignoring the loose tobacco increased dramatically. But almost everybody working in tobacco control is a moron, and they're waiting for the WHO and its advisers to tell the advocates how to respond. Unfortunately, for those muppets, the news came on a weekend and nobody was working.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

No demand for weekend overtime in tobacco control, the taxpayer is very generous.

Junican said...

"With the Chantler review due to report at the end of the month ..."
Tricky, because his terms of reference include only the health effects of PP. I saw the statement from the Junior Health Minister, in Parliament, where she said so - 'only the health effects'.
It is completely beyond my comprehension to understand how a change in colours and printing on a fag packet can possibly, in itself, affect health. They cannot, and so the possible consequences, from a health point of view, can only come from actual real-life effects. Has anyone, adult or child, actually stopped smoking as a result of PP (which assumes that stopping smoking has health effects). Or have people, especially youths, been deterred? By deterred, I mean actually not began to smoke. Even if that were true, the question arises about how permanent the effect would be.


But there are other considerations. In the USA, the constitution demands freedom of speech. This requirement, by implication, also demands freedom NOT TO speak. Thus, in the USA, tobacco companies do not have to print pictures of diseased bodies on tobacco packets, presumably because the Zealots cannot prove that the conditions displayed, in individual cases, are caused by smoking.
What is important here is that the principle in the USA ought to be common in civilised nations everywhere. Pictures required to be printed on fag packets MUST reflect actual events caused by smoking, and not imagined possibilities.

Having said that, it is almost certainly true that, in common law in England, that requirement already exists. It is a consequence of 'innocent until proven guilty'. Is it not obvious? Thus is revealed a nonsense of the EU directive. It cannot demand an increase in the size of obscene pictures unless those pictures have already been the subject of a EU directive which states have adopted. But only those states without protection of freedom of speech have adopted the obscene pictures.

The shit is bound to hit the fan sooner or later.