Ministers discussed the effect of advertising and promotion of tobacco products, especially concerning the design of tobacco packages and products.They acknowledged that significant scientific evidence exists to justify the introduction of standardized packaging.That's rot, of course, there is no evidence worthy of the name, let alone anything 'significant'. It is, however, pretty clear that French retailers - who, as is always the case with tyrannical governments, have been ignored - will be affected by the measure in a free trading bloc like the EU.
The attitude of 'public health' is quite disgraceful when it comes to plain packs, especially. They declare openly that no economic factor should ever be taken into account; that only health should ever be considered, however flimsy their cock-eyed junk science is. And, with plain packs, cock-eyed junk science is about all they've got (see here, here, here, here and here).
So French tobacconists have today caused one hell of a scene in Paris, as the Guardian reports.
Angry French tobacconists have dumped four tonnes of carrots outside the ruling Socialist party’s headquarters in Paris in protest at plans to force the introduction of plain cigarette packets.And they filmed it.
This is after a week of general civil disobedience throughout France.
France’s tobacconists are protesting against plans to force cigarette companies to use plain, unbranded packaging by disabling traffic speed cameras.
The radar “hooding” – by covering them with bin liners – is symbolic: a “cover up” that deprives the government of money in the same way that the anti-smoking legislation will reduce tobacco sales and tax revenue, the protesters say.
The first hooding took place over a month ago and, by this week, speed trap cameras in as many as 20 of 97 districts had been affected, said the group representing France’s tabac bars, the Buralistes Confederation.
“It’s a sign that anger is mounting,” a spokesman said.They weren't finished after the carrot stunt either ...
After dumping the vegetables against the gates of the party headquarters at Rue de Solférino at 6.30am, the tobacconists marched to the health ministry en route to the Sénat.Indeed they did, making a real fuss, and mess, with a 4 million signature petition against plain packaging.
It has certainly got their concerns noticed. The French Senate has discussed the idea and decided to reject it, preferring to stick to the EU TPD proposals for larger health warnings instead. Unlike, sadly, our allegedly EU-suspicious Tory government which has gold-plated the demands from Brussels instead of treating them with healthy disdain.
I'm sure that's not the end of the matter, puritans never like losing and will certainly never listen to the people whose lives they destroy, but today is a good day for common sense and decency in France.
An evidence based approach: Social Affairs Committee of the French Senate has just voted against #plainpackaging proposal #paquetneutre— Imperial Tobacco EU (@ImpTobBrussels) July 22, 2015
As the demands from insane public health lobbyists become ever more absurd - not just over tobacco, either - we're hopefully going to see a lot more of this type of direct action. Good, I'm all for it.
Les buralistes Français, vous avez bien fait aujourd'hui. Bravo!