Government believes packing cigarettes in plain cartons would discourage smokers. Ridiculous much?
Now authorities in the UK and Canada are starting to believe that removing colors, designs and trademarks from cigarette packs will discourage people from smoking.
However, there is no solid evidence that suggests plain packaging is effective in discouraging people, especially the youth, from smoking. It doesn’t even encourage existing smokers to quit or prevent quitters from start smoking again.
Australia was the first nation to introduce plain packaging in December 2012. It’s been almost four years and Australian Government is still waiting to see positive results of their experiment. So far the post-implementation statistics suggest there’s next to nil reduction in number of smokers in the country.
Instead, there’s been a significant rise in the size of the illegal tobacco market — the criminals running this illegal trade are now making black money at the expense of taxpayers in Australia. Making things worse, the Australian government is losing over AUS$1.42 billion in tax revenue each year. This money could’ve been used for better awareness programmes and ads.
I believe there are efficient methods of curbing smoking rates. Authorities in the UK and Canada, instead of following footsteps of their counterpart, should initiate anti-smoking programmes targeting the youth. They can also ensure better enforcement of already existing laws that govern the sale of tobacco to young people.
Implementation of the plain packaging idea would be wrong on various grounds. First of all it involves snatching away intellectual property from businesses, which is considered unlawful in most countries. Secondly, this poorly-researched experiment is unethical from the business point of view.
Don’t get me wrong, personally I’m against smoking. But I refuse to believe that taking names and prints off the cigarette packs would change anything.
Smoking is harmful, it kills and no sane person can deny that. But if government bodies want cigarette manufacturers to use plain packets, they should also do the same for frozen food items. WHO labels processed meats like sausages, bacon, pepperoni and salami as carcinogenic — meaning they cause cancer.
Educating the youth is better than schooling them, particularly on this subject. Creating a nanny state for the youth is never going to work in Canada or the UK.
#banplainpackaging #freedomofchoice #Nannystate #Notoplainpackaging