A packet of cigarettes showing the new plain package and health warnings.
A packet of cigarettes showing the new plain package and health warnings. Kevin Farmer

“Plain” packs and graphic images for smokers here on out

IF you smoke and you keep trying to score an "old" pack so you can dodge the picture of the dead guy, the baby on the ventilator or that horrible tongue cancer image, your luck has run out.

Australian shops are no longer allowed to sell the "old" packs, with their branding and less graphic health warnings. They're all being sent back to their various manufacturers, leaving the smoking public to get used to looking at the wizened corpse of "Bryan", who we're told died when he was 34, presumably of lung cancer, or - preferably - just chuck the habit in completely.

With smoking one if the leading causes of death in Australia, new legislation states all tobacco products must now be displayed in plain packaging and labelled with new and expanded health warnings.

Smoking-related disease costs Australia around $31.5 billion a year, and with the new packaging laws, health officials hope the number of smokers will decrease.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the new olive-brown packaging on tobacco products, mandatory from Saturday, has already had some affect.

She said that with personal reports that cigarettes "don't taste the same as they used to," but no reported changes in the packs contents, it was proof that the changes were having a "psychological effect".

"Plain packaging is the next step in our fight against the death and disease caused by tobacco," she said.

 

Does the new plain packaging increase your desire to quit smoking?

This poll ended on 05 December 2012.

Current Results

Yes

26%

No

73%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Do cigarettes taste different since "plain" packaging was introduced?

This poll ended on 05 December 2012.

Current Results

Yes

33%

No

66%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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