Thursday, October 3, 2019

Plain Packaging on Cigarettes Essay Example for Free

Plain Packaging on Cigarettes Essay Tobacco laws have started as early as the 1970s (ACOSH, 2010). Government has implanted laws, such that of the Tobacco Act (1987), which goals are to discourage the smoking of tobacco, encouraging non-smokers; in particular young people to not start smoking, to limit the exposure of children and young people to the persuasion of smoking, to encourage and assists smokers to give up smoking, and finally the promotion of good well being and illness prevention. The tobacco act of 1897, had over the years since, been reformed, and it seems like there is no stopping now. To further reinforce its initial goal, recently the Australian government reformed this Tobacco Act. The Australian government had announced, the 25% increase in tobacco tax, plain packaging on tobacco products to be implemented in the near future of 2012, ban on tobacco advertisement on the internet, as well as major increase in funding for tobacco media campaigns (ACOSH, 2010). The implementation of plain packaging on tobacco products of the announcement fueled a major debate with very opposing views. Those against tobacco plain packaging bring up issues of illicit trading, trademark rights, and lack of evidence; that plain packaging would in fact reduce cigarette consumptions (PMI, 2010). On the contrary, anti-smoking groups and health advocates, such as World Health Organizations (WHO), Cancer Council Australia (CCA, 2010) fully supports the new reformation to the Tobacco Act. They argue that plain packing would make cigarettes less appealing, and eliminates any last straw of advertisements, which the tobacco companies have put in placed, to begin with, to promote consumption of their tobacco products. Firstly, Tobacco Companies argue that plain packaging implementation is an unintelligent move on the government. Tobacco companies propose that plain packaging would promote illicit trading. Philip Morris international (PMI), one of the leading international tobacco companies views are that they are opposing the legislation mandating plain packaging. PMI state that they support effective regulation of tobacco based on harm reduction (PMIMSA, 2010). However they feel that plain packaging is too extreme, and that the government has gone too far. PMI states that Plain packaging would be easier to be counterfeited, as the plain packaging are simple and are not designed uniquely. This illicit trading would cause a major loss in the government revenue, stating that the government would lose an estimated of $40. 5 billions of dollars annually (PMIMSA, 2010). With illicit trading the Tobacco Company also believed that it will spark a new problem; that the counterfeited tobacco products would be more harmful to smokers. Tobacco Company believes that with the counterfeit tobacco products, consumers are not guaranteed that their products are safe, because of poor quality, since it has been found that counterfeited products of tobacco contains â€Å"rat droppings, fiber glass†¦ and high levels of toxic chemicals. † (PMIMSA, 2010). Another large tobacco company, British American Tobacco Australia, along with the PMI, have tried to make aware that plain packaging would also cause harm to retailers of local business, stating that it would cause retailers great confusion and inconvenience (ARR, 2010). It would inconvenience retailers, because all packets would look the same, and thus taking them longer to make transactions with customers. Retailer is also made to believe that with more time spent on one transaction it would result security issues, as they would not be able to pay more attention to their shop (PMIMSA, 2010). As well as illicit trading and inconveniencing issues, Tobacco Companies do not approve the plain packaging because it violates trademark rights. With the removal of current packaging and the implementation of plain packaging, it breaches intellectual property rights (Casben, 2010). According to Canadian Health Minister David Dingwall, plain packaging would â€Å"violate trademarks and constitutional rights† (PMIMSA, 2010) Finally, tobacco companies say that there is no evidence which proves that plain packaging would in fact reduce smoking. Arguing that young adolescence first encounter with cigarettes, are in most case, a single cigarette already taken out of the pack and handed to them from their peers. Nonetheless, Government with the support of anti-smoking and health advocate believes that with the plain packaging implements taking place, it will reduce smoking and consequently allow smokers to have the opportunity to break the habit. Plain packaging of tobacco is like removing the force which drives young adolescence to take up smoking, as well as to remove any temptations and promotion to ex-smokers as well as active smokers (Freeman, Chapman, Rimmer, 2008) Advertisements main objectives are to promote the selling of their products to consumers. They are meant to appeal to many people by their use of puns, catchy phrases, and the messages that sends out â€Å"glamour†, causing it to be an object desire. The ban of advertisement on tobacco products in the media, billboards, and eventually the Point of Sale Advertising regulations under the Tobacco Control Act (1990), which prohibits tobacco advertising outside of shops or in view of public places, leaves the tobacco companies, the need to use smarter ways to sell their products. The package of cigarettes currently, does exactly this, it promotes smoking and â€Å"it’s the only mechanism remaining to make the link explicit between the package and the imagery created†¦Ã¢â‚¬  (CCS, 1993). Plain packaging, as explained by Fiona Sharkie (2010), the executive director of Quit, in the article, Big tobaccos coughing fit a big tick for plain packaging, would mean that â€Å"Cigarette packets will no longer feature a colorful, flashy mini-billboard, communicating images of desirability and glamour The brand name will be featured in a mandated size and font, alongside an enlarged graphic health warning,†¦Ã¢â‚¬  on either a white or brown colored background. Studies have shown (Freeman, Chapman, Rimmer, 2008), which provides evidence that plain packs would be perceived as dull and boring as well as cheap looking hence reducing the flair and appeal associated with smoking. The idea surrounding plain packaging, however seems to be unsuccessful to active smokers, a person stating in the article, Tobacco companies rally against plain packaging (2010), that I dont go into the shop and go, hmm, which one is going to look prettiest this week. I have a particular brand that I smoke and have smoked for quite a long time and will continue to smoke those. This reformation however, are not to target active smokers primarily, it is design to stop young children to be tempted to try because of the constant bombarding the desirable, colorful packages of cigarettes (Casben, 2010). Children even though are not seeing the advertisement in the media per se, encounters cigarettes packages everyday and everywhere. We have failed to remove the last promotion of cigarettes, which are unconsciously being fed to them constantly through packages. Further by removing the packaging, not only we would eradicate all forms of advertisements, it would also remove the visibility on the shelf to the population. The plain packaging would reinforce to ex-smokers that, the government are supporting their actions. Ex-smokers would no longer be reminded of their bad habits and will never be tempted to take on smoking once again. The plain packaging which would contain, large warning sign, would be seen in the eyes of young children, as harmful substances. This would decline their desire to try. These labels would only projects cigarettes as one thing; POISON. The tobacco company remains certain that plain packaging would not be efficient. They are fighting very hard in order to stop this Act from taking place. The negative attitude towards this reformations, speaks loudly and clearly, that they are afraid that the new reforms might in fact be effective. Government should, in my opinion, ensure that plain packaging, which is due to be implemented on 2012, be carried out. Tobacco has already shaped the society this far, and would continue to shape our society for the many years to come. It would remain as ongoing issue. Clearly the prohibition of this product would not be a smart option, and certainly not a solution to our problem. Thus, governments should continue to make changes to the Tobacco Act. Even though these laws may not be a 100% in its efficiency would provide a long term goal in reducing smoking amongst active smokers and keeping the younger generation from taking up smoking. Since there are some degree of correlation between plain packaging and reduction of cigarette consumption (Freeman, Chapman, Rimmer, 2008), plain packaging should be given an opportunity. It is at the very least; better to have tried, than turning a blind eye and saying that wont work therefore should not try. Reference

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