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Plain Cigarette Packaging

Updated on December 9, 2014

Australia First Country to Introduce Plain Packaging

While other countries have considered it Auistralia will be the first country to ban the normal market orientated cigarette packet. Instead all cigarette producers will be required to use plain packages featuring some rather horrifying images of the known health effects of cigarette smoking and tobacco related illnesses.

It was not an easy ride for the Federal government who was taken to the High Court by tobacco companies who used various arguments to try to defeat the move. The court overturned all of them and now they are faced with paying the government's legal costs as well as their own. But the fighting may not be over, They have threatened to take their case to the World Trade Organisation but that is also expected to go against them because of the risk tobacco imposes on health.

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Mouth cancer image for cigarette packs
Mouth cancer image for cigarette packs

Cigarettes are a Health Hazard.

During the early 1960s when a medical student at the University of New South Wales one of my friends was Kathy Green. Her father, Professor Green, established a positive link between cigarettes and cancer. That is now 50 years ago and since that time hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have died unnecessarily so that tobacco companies can profit off their miseries,

One cannot state that they would not have become addicted to some other drug were cigarettes outlawed. Many people are frankly suicidal when it comes to taking risks both for themselves and their kids. Young people especially think they are invincible as their young bodies are strong and demanding. Many children become addicted to cigarettes before puberty and many more immediately afterwards.

The government aims to turn children off starting to smoke by using horrifying images, such as the one illustrated above, on cigarette packages as a warning and deterrent. It is hoped that by seeing these images the brain will take them on board and stop children, at least, from taking up the habit.

As this has never been done anywhere else in the world the evidence for or against tobacco advertising as a tool to do this is not available. But ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), an organisation dedicated to driving smoking rates down while extending smoke free areas and ending tobacco promotion, has been delighted by the High Court ruling that overturned the arguments of the tobacco industry trying to prevent this action.

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It's Great News for Australia

Blindness caused by tobacco
Blindness caused by tobacco

Quitting Smoking is Easy when Motivated

When my children were toddlers my son told me that he did not like the cigarette smoke. At that time time my husband and I both smoked. My decision to quit was tempered from that very moment but there was another motivator. There was nothing that could stand in the way of my children's health and the effect of passive smoking had not occurred to me.

Sometime earlier an article in the Reader's Digest came my way that stated that if you quit smoking and don't develop cancer within the next 30 years then chances are you won't get it. Wow! That was big. This was years after Professor Green and others started talking about the link between smoking and all types of cancers, including even bladder cancer. It was something that hit me hard because I wanted to be around to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren.

That day my resolve to quit, when everyone around me at my place of work smoked, was paramount. The question was how to do it? The packet of smokes was still in my office drawer and after a couple of hours I took a puff. Just one and then put it out. After another couple of hours I did the same. By the end of the day only about four cigarettes had been lit. That night there was no desire to smoke. The next day there was even less and after a week there was none.

Going cold turkey is the only way to quit as once you turn to props and substitutes you may become hooked on them. The tobacco industry has added extra nicotine and stuff since those days to make quitting even harder but if you have the will you can still do it. Just look at the images of what cancer and blindness looks like and see if that fits comfortably into your future. What about your children and their needs? It is up to you to not pass on bad examples for anyone.

Poor Little Children

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Tobacco leaf
Tobacco leaf

Lies from Tobacco Companies

Their profits from tobacco are huge. The weed is grown and harvested in many communities in countries like those of Africa, such as Zimbabwe, India, Cuba, China, Russia and also in the United States, Australia and elsewhere. Tobacco belongs to the deadly nightshade group of plants and is the sub species known as Nicotiana of the Solanaceae family.

According to Wikipedia: "The harmful effects of tobacco derive from the thousands of different compounds generated in the smoke, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzpyrene), formaldehyde, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, radioactive polonium-210, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), phenols, and many others"

This damaging cocktail of poisons is well known by the tobacco industry which has hidden the facts for decades while deliberately targeting its victims for the sake of profit. Phillip Morris is one such Company.

Wikipedia notes: "University of California researcher's re-analysed data from a Philip Morris study called "Project MIX" - which concluded in 2002 there was "no evidence of substantial toxicity" from 333 additives to tobacco. But the re-analysis just published found from the same data that the additives had led to an average 20% increase in 15 carcinogenic chemicals. They also discovered that the company for "unexplained reasons" had downplayed 19 chemicals tested, and failed to fully reveal the additives' dangers."

Anne Jones, Chief Executive of ASH Australia, stated on their website that: "This is the same company that is currently claiming billions of dollars in lost trademark value in legal challenges to plain packaging - but they've spent decades using their brands as part of a strategy to deceive smokers."

This action by the High Court may lead to massive compensation claims by victims and their families. That is of grave concern to the tobacco companies that are spending a fortune opposing plain packaging and the blatant illustrations of harm pictured thereon that their products cause.

Every obstreperous sufferer, every cancer victim and every one affected by passive smoke may be at liberty soon to take action. The list of victims is long and even includes malformed babies and children whose parents smoked during pregnancy. The outcome could wipe out the tobacco industry completely. This newly established law is now racing around the world and feeding into homes on computers everywhere.

Since the High Court decision share prices in Phillip Morris have dived considerably as they will in all other brands. It was a brave move by Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, and this may open the doors for many countries to follow suit. In any case a huge blow has been struck against smoking and getting kids addicted. The cigarette companies have a lot to answer for and they may just be on the edge of extinction.

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    • profile image

      Ryan 2 years ago

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      othellos 4 years ago

      As a non-smoker I find your lens very well done. I don't think though that addicted to nicotine people will draw back. When they need their dose, they don't see anything on the package. At the end it scares us (the non-smokers)!

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      I don't think the graphic images will make a huge difference. You can't scare an addict into quitting. They are addicted. Putting the price up to get the cigarettes out of people's price range can make some difference, or making them illegal like heroin (which causes far fewer deaths per year than nicotine and tar) or any other drug. Cigarettes are a DRUG and smokers are just addicts who aren't going to be dissuaded by photos or sobering facts. They're heard them all. You see smokers standing outside hospitals puffing away still attached to their IV machines, dying (literally) to smoke.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      Thanks for featuring my Cigarette Cases for Non-Smokers lens. I'm ambivalent about the graphic images. Our government is hypocritical as they punish smokers, but happily cash in on the tax revenues and campaign donations from tobacco companies. It always results in less liberty for the individual. I'm not a smoker, and resent the slobs who throw their butts all over the place. But which is worse?

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      I applaud this action. An autopsy technician told me that when they open a 40-year old smoker, they find an 80-year old person inside.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      I for anything that actually helps people stop smoking, even trying to scare them with photos.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      I'm not sure that scary packaging is going to help stop cigarette smoking.. but perhaps... I think some people won't care, no matter what... Blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you for doing research on this important subject! Thank you also for including my lenses on your Feature lenses. I appreciate it!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I think it's going to happen in the UK too - we seem to be heading in that direction. Angel Blessings for your great research and thanks for featuring my lens.

    • allaboutdubai profile image

      allaboutdubai 4 years ago

      Nice information. Hope you find mine equally useful.

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    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      There has been lots in the press about this in recent times and I am for it 100%. I could not care less if all the tobacco companies in the world went broke because of it. They have been profiting from slowly killing people for too many generations now. It has to stop.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the awesome info, I really enjoy reading your lens.