Quicker than you can say the words “Phillip Morris are immoral murdering bastards” the evil (yes they are evil) tobacco companies are suing the whole country of Uruguay and spending $9m on advertising in Australia all because Australia and Uruguay are wanting to change the rules about packaging of cancer sticks.
The moral and right position on tobacco is that because other people are forced against their will to participate in breathing smoke second hand it should be banned. In that regard they are analogous to wood heaters, and wood smoke and tobacco smoke are similar chemically too.
But if you are a government without the gumption of doing the right thing and banning tobacco products then plain packaging is a really good idea. Anything that stops promoting cigarettes, especially to children is good.
I take umbrage with their being health warnings on the packets too. I have no qualm that they are there, but they are messages for selfish people who continue to smoke, and the health messages are usually only about their own health (or the occasional “Your smoke harms other people” or that it harms babies) but somehow we have to get it through to selfish people that other people matter.
One thing is that a huge percentage of smokers throw their butts away and pretend it isn’t litter, or they don’t give a damn about the environment. I would suggest anyone who throws a butt on the ground should be deported (even if they are native-born) because they obviously don’t love their country if they litter it.
So I propose that there should be anti-littering messages too on those plain pack cigarettes.
Those health messages are so brief though. Inside the packs there should be detailed booklets about the health effects on the smoker, on the effects on other people, about not littering, and there should be a guide to smoker etiquette written by non-smokers. Smokers should know that people don’t want them to smoke around them.
And if smokers think non-smokers really don’t like them, then oh derr, what are they? Slow learners.
To all Australian and Uruguayan policy makers. Stay strong. Don’t listen to the bastards from the tobacco companies, and to the Liberal Party of Australia who accepts donations from the tobacco companies, don’t. It is completely immoral, and I’m glad you didn’t win the recent election.