Wednesday 4 June 2014

Yet Another "Myth" Confirmed As Reality By The Sun

The tobacco control industry's tactic of compiling lists of what they call 'myths' - but which everyone else call valid debating points - is turning out to be a great guide to how much lying they get up to incompetent they are.

The Smokefree Coalition's Myths and Realities of Smokefree England following the smoking ban is now a hilarious read, with almost all these so-called 'myths' since having turned out to be true, and now their myth-busting over plain packs looks to be heading in the same humiliating direction. 

We've had loads of fun here ridiculing myth #7 in their 'list' (really just a lobbying document) - no public health advocate can possibly now claim that plain packs are not already setting a precedent for other consumer products - but today saw the sad demise of myth #2 as well.
Myth#2: Tobacco smuggling will increase because plain packs are easily counterfeited 
FACT: Existing packs are no obstacle to counterfeiting. There is no evidence that plain packaging will lead to an increase in the illicit trade in tobacco, thereby reducing legal sales.Tobacco packs are already easily counterfeited which is why the industry is required to put covert markings on all tobacco packs to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit packs. Plain packs may not have tobacco brand logos and colours but they will have all the health warnings and other markings required on current packs – so they will be no easier to counterfeit
Considering tobacco controllers pretend to be the world's experts on everything from high economics, through package manufacture and onto global trade law, a Sun newspaper investigation published today (£) must come as a bit of an embarrassment to them.
Indonesian forger Faus Firdaus said his profits would soar when he no longer has to copy the complex packaging and embossing on popular makes like Marlboro and Regal. 
He even punched the air as he mocked PM David Cameron, cheering: "Plain packaging... I support the UK government!" 
Findaus said of the plain packaging move: "We will make more money. We can make it cheaper but sell for the same price. It's good for you, good for me." 
Another fake fag kingpin Djomaidi Oetomo told our undercover team he could design packets mimicking famous brands - but producing plain packaging would be cheaper. 
He wanted around £75 per case of 500 packets to produce Regal rip-offs. But that fell to £56.60 for plain packs. That would give him a staggering £214,800 more profit a year shipping in a single container a month. 
So we can now strike myth #2 off the Smokefree Coalition's list as not a myth but, instead, a cast-iron certainty. 

Not only will plain packaged cigarettes be easier to counterfeit, they will also be 25% cheaper for smugglers to buy; probably a bigger reduction in costs for counterfeiters to make; and will significantly increase profit margins for criminal gangs, thereby making the illicit trade even more attractive than sky high duty levels have already done. 

Any politician who still thinks plain packaging is worthwhile should ask themselves why on earth they think it clever to promote a policy of job creation and subsidies for criminal south east Asian gangs.


truckerlyn said...

"Any politician who still thinks plain packaging is worthwhile should ask themselves why on earth they think it clever to promote a policy of job creation and subsidies for criminal south east Asian gangs."

The politician will probably reply 'well with the poverty, they need some way of earning a living'

That's how stupid and out of touch the politicians are - they'll probably believe it, too!

smiffy01 said...

Said similar ocer here DP:

Sam Duncan said...

You can't say the Smokefree mob aren't cunning. There's a tiny grain of truth to their “FACT”: current packaging isn't an insurmountable obstacle to counterfeiting. But then neither are the anti-counterfeiting measures on banknotes; does that mean we could just abandon all that awkward De La Rue Spirograph stuff and start using sheets of A6 with “20 Pounds Sterling” laser-printed in Comic Sans?

Of course simpler, standardized, packaging makes counterfeiting easier. Only an idiot blinded by zealotry could possibly think otherwise.

Branding emerged in the 19th Century as a guarantee of authenticity and, by extension, quality. There's a good reason trademark laws exist to defend these things. Plain packaging is a deliberate assault on tobacco companies' trademarks. That's what this whole hoopla is about: eroding their identities, their ability to differentiate their products from any other... including sticks of Yak dung and sawdust from Indonesia. You can't just turn around and say it's not going to have the effect that it's explicitly supposed to have.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"Of course simpler, standardized, packaging makes counterfeiting easier. Only an idiot blinded by zealotry could possibly think otherwise."

That's the problem, they don't think otherwise, they only pretend to. They know very well what the truth is, it's just not in their best interests to admit it.

moonrakin said...

Latest news:

New proposal are presented to HM Government to go further than plain packaging and applications are being solicited for packaging designs that look absolutely nothing like cigarette packets....

Meanwhile BBC "journalists" rack up more air miles at your expense to expose tobacco 'orror , shock! stories fro various bits of the world.... yup ... it's you know who - he's actually been quite quiet for a few years - somebody must have prodded him to start earning his no doubt generous BBC remuneration package...

facta non verba said...

Get real ,the anti tobacco fanatics are not interested in the consequences of their aims,their ambitions are not based on democratic process or the application of reasonable debate,their motives are to get what they want at any cost,their rewards are proportional to their achievements.
The way to deal with fanatics is to abandon the rule book,bin the civilized behaviour and go for the jugular.Near 7 years since the total ban and where are we,fighting a rearguard action on silly issues like plain packets.
Time is ripe for those who cry freedom,to up the ante,
or go away and shut up.

Sam Duncan said...

Yeah, sad but true. I'm convinced that the idea is to promote the illegal trade so that they can use the same evil-by-association line as they do with banned substances. It would fit their M.O., being of a piece with the “denormalization” thing: “Tobacco's bad because it's sold by criminal gangs and smoked by furtive people who hang around doorways”.