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Tobacco news is creating international waves

The Rudd Government’s efforts in health have taken something of a hammering at Croakey in recent times. There have been so many expectations disappointed and questions left hanging.

But let’s give credit where it’s due. The tobacco control announcements (more details here) are huge news for health. The Public Health Association predicts the moves will “over time prevent literally hundreds of thousands of premature deaths from cancer, heart disease and many other conditions”.

“Australia has become the world leader in tobacco control,” the PHA president, Professor Mike Daube, said in a statement yesterday.

The international headlines are certainly running hot. The World Health Organisation is quoted in the New York Times, welcoming the measures as “a new gold standard for the regulation of tobacco products”.

The Canadian Government is under pressure to follow Australia’s lead, reports the Vancouver Sun.

The Australian may be giving space to Tim Wilson of the Institute of Public Affairs to sing  a contrarian view, but there’s no doubting the warmth of the response from the public health crowd (and quite a few Croakey readers, judging by the comments on yesterday’s post).

(Update: and here’s Croakey’s contribution to the international headlines; a news story in the BMJ).

Of course, there is still quite a distance to run to ensure that the plain packs hit the shelves in mid 2012, as planned.

When you look at the image below, you can see why the tobacco industry hates this measure so much. Not exactly enticing is it?

Snapshot 2010-04-30 09-28-16

Comments 8

  1. Sun says:

    I wonder if the market in cigarette cases will suddenly reemerge as a result?

  2. Mr Pastry says:

    Its quite a good utilitarian look and I particularly like the picture of kebab meat

  3. simon.chapman says:

    The IPA stuff about black market is such unadulterated tosh. See my earlier critique of the PWC report on which it rests. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/02/08/british-american-tobacco-report-more-holes-than-a-sieve/

  4. simon.chapman says:

    Sun, every new generation of health warnings has generated questions like yours “everyone will just put cases around them.” Dopey entrepreneurs stock up on imported cases, a few hundred buy them, use them a couple of times, and the rest you can see at Paddy’s Market any day desperately looking for someone to buy them. It just doesn’t happen. And the same people who run this argument often also say “the health warnings don’t work” — so why then would people be bothered to cover them up? People will buy covers for iPhones because you bugger the phone if you drop it. But cigs, no.

  5. Doctor Whom says:

    The new rules will help cut down on smoking and therefore smoking related ill health and early death.

    Smoking is one activity where there is little tension between coercion and individual freedoms. Unlike say, salt, or alcohol, or sugar or fat, or even cocaine or heroin – there is no good dosage of tobacco smoke taken orally (or nasally). There may be useful doses of nicotine but there are a myriad of safe ways to absorb nicotine.

    Smoking isn’t going to be illegal – just dearer.

    Sure the taxis somewhat regressive in one way but on another angle the evidence shows that lower socio economic groups, the ones still not responding to the messages, will actually give up smoking at much higher rates due more costly cigarettes.

    Teenagers actually believe that smokes in plain packets wouldn’t taste as good as smoke sin branded colurful packtes.

  6. Doctor Whom says:

    The new rules will help cut down on smoking and therefore smoking related ill health and early death.

    Smoking is one activity where there is little tension between coercion and individual freedoms. So the nanny state slippery slope arguments don’t wash here. (I do think the libertarian arguments are worth consideration when we talk about taxing/limiting good/bad foodstuffs. Smoking isn’t going to be illegal – just dearer.

    Unlike say, salt, or alcohol, or sugar or fat, or even cocaine or heroin – there is no good dosage of tobacco smoke taken orally (or nasally). There may be useful doses of nicotine but there are a myriad of safe ways to absorb nicotine.

    Sure the tax is somewhat regressive in one way but on another angle the evidence shows that lower socio economic groups, the ones still not responding to the messages, will actually give up smoking at much higher rates due more costly cigarettes.

    Teenagers actually believe that smokes in plain packets wouldn’t taste as good as smokes in branded colourful packets.

    A year or so ago at a suburban Melbourne train station near me partially renown for dope/heroin retail – I was approached by a shady looking character

    ” Pst pst – wanna buy some chop-chop man” (Seemed like a metaphor for suburban Melbourne compared to when I was in NYC years ago seeing Bruce at Madison Square – and was approached by guys selling “loose joints man ” – ” I’m the guy to get you high -Try before you buy -“

    At $30 a big bag its cheap. And I have a friend who has smoked chop-chop for years – its a great australian /vietnamese tradition.

    I’m guessing we’ll see more middle aged suburban guys hanging around railway stations, dodging the cops, buying bag of chop-chop.

    The thrill of sleazy minor illegality will increase but over all smoking will go down. After all bugger all people smoke rollies – certainly not the cool crowd.

  7. Doctor Whom says:

    oh – I don’t know what happened there. I suspect the preview option is posting with it’s own agenda

  8. simon.chapman says:

    Illegal sales may increase, but it will be a very marginal phenomena compared to the impact in the mainstream of the new policies. The pst-psst scenarios Dr Whom describes arise because of the illegality and are hugely inefficient compared with the ease with which tobacco can be sold openly, conveniently from any business site. If they became brazenly open, they would be very easy to bust. The penalties that have been awarded against tax avoidance from importing illegal tobacco have been massive.

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PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17