Thursday 10 March 2016


From Australia...

Since 2012, plain tobacco packaging laws forced stores to sell cigarettes absent of all branding in an attempt to dissuade young people from buying them.

A few Target stores in South Australia seemed to be doing the same thing with video games.

They believed they were following the letter of the law and — bizarrely — they might be right.

Indeed they might. Thanks to Australia's puritanical attitude to video games—many of which are banned outright—legislation in this state forces shops to keep 18+ games in a separate section of the shop or in plain packaging.

An occupier of premises (other than adult-only premises) at which computer games with a classification lower than R 18+ are sold must not display material for a computer game classified R 18+ at the premises—
(a) unless—
(i) the material is displayed in a different area (including, for example, in a different aisle or on a different shelving case, stand or table) from that in which material for other computer games is displayed; and
(ii) the area is marked as an area displaying material for computer games classified R 18+ by a notice complying with subsection (2) displayed in a prominent place near the area; and
(iii) the surface area of the material that is on display (for example, the cover of a casing containing the game, where that is on display) is not more than 300 cm²; or

(b) unless, at all times while on display, the material bears no images or markings
other than—
(i) the name of the computer game in letters of 10 millimetres or less in height
; and
(ii) the determined markings relevant to its classification

This shop went the extra mile by fulfilling several criteria all at once. And why not? If plain packaging deters children from buying cigarettes (a proposition for which there is still no evidence), why wouldn't you use it for 18+ computer games and DVDs, as well as for alcohol and gambling products? It is, as they say in 'public health', the next logical step.

Meanwhile in Australia...

Court ruling the end for e-cigarette sales

The man whose small business selling e-cigarettes sparked a case which lead to the product being banned from sale in Western Australia has failed in his bid to overturn the landmark decision.

The prosecution of Vince van Heerden by the WA Health Department made WA the first jurisdiction in the world to outlaw the sale of e-cigarettes.

After a judge found it was illegal to sell e-cigarettes containing no nicotine, because they merely resemble a cigarette or cigar, the court imposed a fine of $1750.

Awesome country.

h/t @angryexile

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