Monday, 1 December 2014

Two years of predictable failure

It's now been two years since Australia embarked on its plain packaging ego trip and I've written a post for the IEA which looks at smoking rates, tobacco consumption and the illicit trade before and after the policy was implemented. I find it hard to believe than any serious person can look at the data and honestly conclude that plain packaging has been anything other than a wash out.

In December 2012, the introduction of plain packaging gave the Australian government full control over the design and appearance of cigarette packs. Tobacco branding was abolished and tobacco companies were effectively prohibited from using their intellectual property.

A few days before the policy went into full effect, activist-researchers announced that plain packaging had the effect of making some smokers believe that their cigarettes tasted worse (a hypothesis that was eagerly pursued by those who hope the policy will be extended to 'junk food'), but empirical research about the revealed preferences of the Australian public has taken longer to appear.

Two years on, we now have enough data on tobacco sales and smoking prevalence to say with confidence that plain packaging has had no positive impact.

Go look at the facts and make up your own mind.


Christopher Snowdon said...

Chris, if you haven't already seen it, this might be of interest to you

Tobacco plain packaging a global trend: Canadian Cancer Society report 14 October 2014

“Plain packaging is an important and logical next step for Canada to
curb tobacco marketing, reduce smoking and save lives,” says Rob
Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “Cigarette packages should not be mini-billboards promoting tobacco use. We urge Health Canada to follow the lead of Australia and other countries and take action to implement plain packaging in order to reduce the appeal of these cancer-causing products.”

Christopher Snowdon said...

Cancer Councils, facilitating cancer at every opportunity. In my country they are the most vociferous in support of vaping bans.

Despite a total lack of evidence of any harm the Cancer Councils in Australia want a safer alternative to tobacco banned from sale and use.

The "useful idiots" of the government and pharma corps, or greedy shysters, amoral and unethical, or indeed both.

Christopher Snowdon said...

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