Sunday 24 May 2015

Brace yourself

The Westminster government's decision to introduce plain packaging has left that the tobacco control industry looking for new ways to collect government grants. Having portrayed plain packaging as something akin to a vaccine for lung cancer (no, really), I expect them to now play down the benefits of plain packaging for two reasons. Firstly because it will soon become very clear to the people of Britain that plain packaging doesn't have any benefits, and secondly because if they are perceived to have solved a problem, they will be out of work.

Fortunately for the tax leeches of 'public health', there is always one more batshit crazy policy ripe for expensive pseudo-research.

From the Sunday Post...

Cigarettes could soon be produced in unpleasant colours, with health warnings emblazoned across the stick, under new proposals to make smoking unglamorous.

Experts believe the white papers which traditionally encase tobacco have connotations of purity and cleanliness.

They have conducted research which suggests producing cigarettes in unappealing browns and greens, to represent yellowing teeth or even phlegm, will make them look distasteful, particularly to style-conscious young women.

This idea has been taken wholesale from a nutter in New Zealand who proposed the same thing last May (see Dick Puddlecote here and here)...

Anti-smoking group wants to change white paper to unattractive green, brown and orange shades

Public health researchers say the Government's next step after introducing plain packaging for tobacco should be to make cigarettes ugly by changing them to a dark green or brown colour which made young people think of "slime, vomit or pooh".

A tobacco control lobby group told a parliamentary committee that cigarettes themselves were the "new canvas" for anti-smoking initiatives.

The Sunday Post article is based on the ramblings of Crawford Moodie, one of Gerard Hastings' henchman from the Institute of Social Marketing. He makes the rather implausible claim that focus groups are "incredibly positive" about the idea. Try asking your friends about it this weekend. I suspect that most of them will say it is ridiculous, if they believe you at all (have these muppets noticed realised that a cigarette with brown paper is a cigar?)

More plausibly, the Post says that Moodie has "previously written around 40 expert reports on tobacco packaging". Forty! This gives you an idea of how much money that is swilling around for those who are prepared to stoop low enough. It also explains why you have almost certainly not heard the last of this.

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