Friday 3 June 2016

Calm Down Old Chappers

If you haven't already seen it, this 3 minute film from the Property Rights Alliance handily debunks all the wild claims that you may have heard about how brilliant and successful plain packaging has been in Australia.

As we have come to expect from the tobacco control industry, the facade of unbridled triumph is little more than the usual mendacious torturing of statistics and shifting of goalposts, aka just a load of old nonsense. Watch out for the increase in child smoking factoid that was published here and which stung Simple Simon so badly.

It's good to see the real figures getting an airing because from the publicly hysterical celebrations you may have seen from tobacco controllers worldwide, you may have been forgiven for thinking that the policy was an incredible, game-changing success.

For example, Simon Chapman - on July 17th 2014 - jubilantly screamed this:
Plunge in smoking attributed to plain packaging 
Public health experts say the findings of the National Drugs Strategy Household Survey vindicate plain-packaging laws, which tobacco companies recently claimed to have boosted cigarette sales by leading to a price war. 
"It's almost like finding a vaccine that works very well against lung cancer," said Simon Chapman, a professor in public health at the University of Sydney. 
"It's that big. This will give enormous momentum to the international push for plain packaging right around the world."
Yet, via the ASH emails, here is how an Australian tobacco controller privately conveyed the same news to Deborah Arnott, her chum Andrew Black, and other colleagues in Ireland and New Zealand  ... on, erm, July 17th 2014.

"Please note we are being careful not to declare this as proof that plain packaging has worked" did they say? Perhaps Chappers didn't get the memo.

As we see from the video above, it's quite clear that most of the hyperbole has been anything but truthful and that Aussies are privately not that confident of the bold assertions that are being touted publicly. Tobacco controllers being manipulative with data, trumpeting inaccurate claims and subtlely hiding the truth? Fancy that!

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