Social Icons

Thursday, 1 November 2012

I'll Take the Gory Eye Pack, Please

I tweeted this last night. But tweets are fleeting things, forgotten about quickly and hard to track down later, and so it's worth a proper blog post.  File under the Law of Unintended Consequences:

Here's an article from The Examiner in Australia titled "Plain packaging won't deter smokers: seller."  The lede says:

NEW plain packaging laws could backfire badly, smokers and cigarette sellers warn.
Really? What could possibly go wrong? I mean the haggish anti-smoker extraordinaire Nicola Roxon had surely done all of her homework. Yeah? She had surveys, research and stuff from Public Health nitwits that said:
[...] research shows that the mandatory introduction from December 1 of plain cigarette packs with graphic health warnings and the same colour for all brands will decrease the smoking rate.
Cause you know, smokers only care about the packaging. That has to be true. The one and only thing that keeps smokers lighting up is a shiny trade mark on a packet. Nothing at all to do with tobacco itself; nothing to do with smoking.  Research from those who know everything shows it to be true that putting graphic images on a cardboard box will decrease the smoking rate. You trust research. Don't you?

No?  Well, maybe plain packaging will discourage the younger smokers. I mean what kind of teenager likes gross images on any kind of product? Surely the young adults will see the packet and run for the hills.  Hmm. Let's see:
"The younger generation says, `oh cool' (to the graphic new images on the packs) - for them, the more ghoulish the better."
I'm sorry? What was that? The "more ghoulish the better," you say?  And plain packs are "cool"!!! That can't be right. There's actual peer-reviewed research that shows kids won't smoke if you put a gory eyeball picture on a packet that looks exactly like this:

The Preferred Graphic for Younger Plain Packs Enthusiasts!

Something isn't right with Australian young adults these days if they want to buy cigarettes with gory pictures of diseased lungs and teeth.

That's OK, though, because surely the older adults with all of their life experience and knowledge of the facts will see the pictures and stop buying cigarettes. Won't you, adults? Won't you stop smoking?
"But others (older customers) go, `oh yuck', so we are selling a lot more cigarette cases.''

Mrs Wade said this resulted in the same volume of cigarette sales but also higher sales of cigarette cases and tins, which was probably not what the federal government wanted.

"It's backfiring because the cigarettes (in the cigarette cases) are a lot more attractive than they originally were (in the branded packs).

"The customers believe that the government is basically treating them like fools.''
Oh, dang! Looks like adults who don't like the packets have found an alternative solution. Nobody would have ever thought of taking the cigarettes out of the packet and putting them into an attractive case. Surely the research would have considered that?

So what does the tobacco control industry say about this?
Quit Tasmania director of quit services Kathryn Terry said research showed the new rules would work.
There's that pesky research again.  Sorry, the research is wrong and plain packs won't work because the prohibitionists like Terry or Roxon will never comprehend human nature, or if they do they choose to ignore it in pursuit of a totalitarian puritanical society.  Smokers aren't fools, and kids aren't stupid. They see right through your hate campaign. Of course we know that won't stop the True Believers.

So really, if public smoking bans fail to work, if government legislation requiring gory pics on a pack fail to work, then all that's left for the hateful anti-smoker nutjobs to do is to legislate that cigarettes taste like shit. 

And if the unelected technocrats in the WHO gets their way, that should happen in the next few years, I figure.

The eye pack is really growing on me. It could be a collector's item someday, so save up your gory packets, kids.