Australia introduces plain packaging for cigarettes
A law forcing tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets came into effect in Australia on Saturday in an effort to strip any glamour from smoking and prevent young people from taking up the habit.
The new law, the first of its kind anywhere the world, came into force despite a vigorous legal challenge by big tobacco, which argued that the legislation infringed its intellectual property rights by banning trademarks.
All cigarettes will now have to be sold in identical, olive-brown packets bearing the same typeface and largely covered with graphic health warnings.
A cashier at a Sydney newsagent said many customers said they found the new packaging, which must feature graphic images such as a gangrenous foot, mouth cancer or a skeletal man dying of cancer, off-putting.
Sanjid Amatya said smokers were asking to pick and choose the images on their packets, with the photograph of gangrenous toes bothering many consumers, as well as one of a sick child affected by cigarette smoke.
"Some of them don't care what the picture is," Amatya said from the store in the suburb of Wynyard where he has worked for three years.
"But some say 'Why did they change the pictures? It's so awful'."
Another retailer Anas Hasan said the most preferred packs pictured a hand stubbing out a cigarette, while some smokers were buying cigarette cases so they did not have to look at the images.
"They hate it. I smoke and I hate it," he said of the new packaging as he opened the doors on the cigarette display case in his Coogee shop to reveal the new packs, which cannot be openly displayed.
"Poor Bryan, they call him," he said, referring to the photograph of the dying man, named on the pack as 34-year-old Bryan.
Anti-smoking campaigners have welcomed the new law, which stipulates that 75 percent of the front of packets must feature the graphic images.
Stafford Sanders from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia told AFP that research had suggested people would be put off by the packaging.
"It's likely to make people more aware of the health warnings," he said.
"And it will remove the potential for the packets to be used to mislead people. And it will de-glamorise the packet."
Sanders said some people had become quite upset and offended by the images.
"The images are supposed to be disturbing, to be confronting. They are supposed to have an effect," he said. "If the images stop one child from taking up smoking, hasn't it been worth you being offended by it?"
Smoker Louisa Brooks, 21, said she did not really notice the packets.
"I'm a stressed out university student," she said, after buying cigarettes which featured a picture of a sick baby in hospital with an oxygen tube going into its nose.
"I definitely am going to quit one day... I don't actually want to quit now," she said.
The percentage of smokers in Australia has dropped from about 50 percent in the 1950s to 15 percent now and the government is aiming to push it down to 10 percent by 2018.
With 80 percent of smokers starting before the age of 18, and 99 percent before they turn 26, health authorities hope the new packaging will have the biggest impact on young people.
"If we can prevent young people from taking it up, that's a lifetime gift to them," Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said on Friday ahead of the law coming into effect.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease among Australians, killing an estimated 15,000 every year.
The government says it will not be heavy-handed in enforcing the legislation in cases where a few packets of old cigarettes are sold in error, but there is the possibility of fines of more than Aus$1 million (US$1 million) for a corporation that commits a large and deliberate breach of the law.
(c) 2012 AFP
- Australia readies for first plain pack cigarettes Nov 30, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Australia proposes tough cigarette packaging rules Apr 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Australia takes on big tobacco firms in court Apr 17, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Plain packaging removes cigarettes' appeal Sep 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Plain packaging of cigarettes encourages young smokers to heed health warnings Aug 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services (ADS), according to Penn State researchers.
Health 3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Given the implications for the overall health, development, and academic success of children, schools should play a primary role in ensuring that all students have opportunities to engage in at least 60 minutes per day of ...
Health 22 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Over 70 per cent of people who hold a personal budget for social care said it led to greater independence and support according to the latest survey.
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new smartphone application, developed by scientists at the University of Ulster, which could help older people engage fully in an increasingly self-serve society, may be ready for use by the end of the ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
12 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A known difficulty in fighting influenza (flu) is the ability of the flu viruses to mutate and thus evade various medications that were previously found to be effective. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital found "substantial evidence" that a regenerative process involving damaged nerve fibers in the spinal cord could hold the key to better functional recovery by most stroke victims.
24 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
As the human body fine-tunes its neurological wiring, nerve cells often must fix a faulty connection by amputating an axon—the "business end" of the neuron that sends electrical impulses to tissues or other ...
23 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists have uncovered a survival mechanism that occurs in breast cells that have just turned premalignant-cells on the cusp between normalcy and cancers-which may lead to new methods of stopping tumors.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Gaucher disease causes debilitating and sometimes fatal neurodegeneration in early childhood. Recent studies have uncovered a link between the mutations responsible for Gaucher disease and an increased risk ...
13 seconds ago | not rated yet | 0 |