Tobacco researchers have identified weaknesses in Australia's plain packaging law that they want eliminated when New Zealand writes its rules.
The Government is committed to plain packaging but has not yet revealed the legislation, which Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia has said she expects to be introduced to Parlianment this year.
Australia's rules last year imposed a standard dull brown colour and large pictorial health warnings but permitted brand names, such as Dunhill and Rothmans, and variant names.
Otago University marketing expert Professor Janet Hoek said this kind of sub-branding using evocative names like "infinite" could undermine the impact of plain packaging - the policy's aim was to reduce the appeal of tobacco and enhance perceptions of the harm it caused.
Allowing variant names was a loophole in the Australian law that should be rectified in New Zealand's version of plain packaging.
The usual ludicrous, hypothetical junk science follows. Regular readers may recall Janet Hoek—a scholar of English literature and marketing—from her earlier quackery. Like many of her ilk, she's not going to get off this money-making gravy train any time soon.