Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

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Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby aldonius » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:02 am UTC

Spoiler:
Cigarette packaging legislation passes Senate

The Senate has passed the Federal Government's plain packaging laws for cigarettes with amendments.

The changes are due to come into effect in December next year, six months after the original time frame.

But the amended legislation will first have to return to the Lower House for approval.

The legislation bans the use of company logos and requires all cigarette packets to be a dark green colour.

Pictures of diseased body parts, sickly babies and dying people will cover 75 per cent of each packet, and tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text will be banned.

Since it was announced in 2010, the plan has faced fierce opposition from tobacco companies who have vowed to mount a court challenge against the legislation.

Tobacco industry spokesman Scott Macintyre has predicted the Government will have to spend "millions of dollars" fighting challenges in court, followed by "potentially billions of dollars" in compensation to the tobacco industry.

"We've invested billions of dollars into these brands. Unfortunately, it looks like the Government is pushing us down that path," Mr Macintyre told the ABC.

But Health Minister Nicola Roxon says she does not buy the argument the Government will have to pay billions in compensation.

"They're using that as a way of threatening both the Government and the Senate to try not to proceed with this law," she said.

"We're ready for that if they take legal action. We hope that they don't."

Australia will become the first country to introduce plain packaging laws and Ms Roxon says the move will reduce the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases.

"It will give our country the best chance of having the lowest smoking rates and, of course, that will mean many lives are saved and many families that don't go through the grief and pain of seeing someone die because of a tobacco-related illness," Ms Roxon said.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates 15,500 Australians are killed by tobacco-related diseases every year and says passive smoking affects the health of children.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-10/plain-packaging-legislation-passes-senate/3658840

Carbon pricing a day or two ago, now this.

I guess this is almost a step from the other side in the 'treat marijuana, etc., like cigarettes & alcohol' debate.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Diadem » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:11 am UTC

How do you tell brands apart if all cigarette packages look the same?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby yurell » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:32 am UTC

The names of the brands on the packet.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:54 am UTC

The legislation bans the use of company logos


This sounds so bizarre to me.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby jules.LT » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:02 am UTC

I'm not sure I'd call this packaging "plain"...
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Hawknc » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:05 am UTC

It is the first legislation of its kind in the world, if I recall correctly. Probably the closest we'll see to outright criminalisation of cigarettes in the next couple of decades at least. I have to stop short of actually supporting the legislation, but it will be interesting to view it as a trial and examine if it has any effect on smoking rates, particularly in young people. Hopefully it ends up as a win for individuals and the community, rather than simply a loss for the tobacco industry.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Angua » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:06 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
The legislation bans the use of company logos


This sounds so bizarre to me.
My guess is that it's a ploy to stop the prestige associated with smoking certain packages of cigarettes.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby aldonius » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:09 am UTC

Angua is correct AFAIK - indeed for ANY type of cigarettes.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:10 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
The legislation bans the use of company logos


This sounds so bizarre to me.

I haven't read this study fully, but from skimming it, it appears that removing brand labels and logos has an impact on the smoker's perception of their smoking experience. Which I would think would imply that they might cut down on their smoking (i.e. maybe half a pack a day instead of a full pack, though presumably less substantive). The study also suggests that minimizing the branding highlights the warnings.

It makes sense to me; as much as people like to pretend they aren't influenced by it, we are suckers for branding. There is a psychological effect with buying and consuming anything with a known brand. Removing that from cigarettes would remove one of the subconscious bits that smokers enjoy about smoking.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:47 am UTC

I want to see someone photoshop "cancer-man" from The X Files with a packet of "Marleys" that look like this :D

i think the losing branding will help put off new smokers much better than it will stop old smokers, but we'll see.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby aldonius » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:57 am UTC

We have fairly strong mindshare/awareness of patches and various other substitutes. So yeah, we will hopefully see an accelerated decline in new smokers, and a slight boost in people who are off smoking (but still addicted to nicotine).

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:
The legislation bans the use of company logos


This sounds so bizarre to me.

I haven't read this study fully, but from skimming it, it appears that removing brand labels and logos has an impact on the smoker's perception of their smoking experience. Which I would think would imply that they might cut down on their smoking (i.e. maybe half a pack a day instead of a full pack, though presumably less substantive). The study also suggests that minimizing the branding highlights the warnings.

It makes sense to me; as much as people like to pretend they aren't influenced by it, we are suckers for branding. There is a psychological effect with buying and consuming anything with a known brand. Removing that from cigarettes would remove one of the subconscious bits that smokers enjoy about smoking.


I get that. After all, I started smoking Lucky Strikes because of the prestige of the brand.

What is bizarre to me is that they actually legislated away the right to brand a product. My brain just can't quite grasp such a thing happening.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Tirian » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:16 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:i think the losing branding will help put off new smokers much better than it will stop old smokers, but we'll see.


Yeah. Looking out, I can imagine that advertising might become less useful since the products are even less differentiable than before (or the manufacturers would have to drop the game that they're only angling for the business of existing smokers), and less advertising would lead to fewer new smokers. It's hardly odd -- prescription medication tends to come in a pill bottle with a label that comes from the pharmacy with nothing other than the specific pill itself to indicate the corporation that made it. If we're sincere about nicotine being a drug that deserves to be regulated, then I think this is a good model to follow. (I will say that forcing that packaging to contain shocking and distasteful images is pretty tacky, and I was somewhat relieved to find that an American judge had blocked that plan here.)

As for the smokers, that might be interesting. Think about drinking wine in a restaurant -- drinking a glass of house wine extrinsically seems to be the same as drinking a glass of reserve wine, but it might be a very different experience to the drinker (aside from paying twice as much). So one might project that cigarette manufacturers who are reduced to only selling cigarettes instead of packaging art too might twerk their formula to come up with a different "taste" or effect to keep their market from becoming too fluid. It'll be interesting to see what happens, and whether Australia is nimble enough to keep up with those changes.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Hawknc » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

The only other comparison I can think of is prescription medication, but that doesn't operate in the same sort of competitive market. With the strict laws on tobacco advertising, pretty much the only way for cigarette brands to differentiate themselves now is with their naming and word-of-mouth. It's extreme, but it's also a public health issue and it doesn't impact the freedom of individuals to smoke.

Edit: ninja'd by Tirian and it didn't tell me. >.<

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Decker » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

aldonius wrote:Pictures of diseased body parts, sickly babies and dying people will cover 75 per cent of each packet, and tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text will be banned.

I'm all for quitting smoking, but this just strikes me as silly and excessive.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

Decker wrote:
aldonius wrote:Pictures of diseased body parts, sickly babies and dying people will cover 75 per cent of each packet, and tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text will be banned.

I'm all for quitting smoking, but this just strikes me as silly and excessive.


I agree, I totally agree with the ends, and I don't necessarily disagree with the means, but that doesn't stop it from being farcical :lol:

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

Gah. "Maybe people just don't *know* it's bad for them. Let's make the warning bigger, and add pictures!"

You guys. Stop. People know. They just don't care.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby yurell » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:03 pm UTC

This isn't adding pictures, just increasing the number of them. And it's probably there to stop an 'impulse' buy more than anything.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Decker » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

Guys, we should add pictures of morbidly obese people and plaque clogged hearts to all Big Mac wrappers!

...That seems frighteningly plausible now that I typed it.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:05 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Gah. "Maybe people just don't *know* it's bad for them. Let's make the warning bigger, and add pictures!"

You guys. Stop. People know. They just don't care.

this.

i smoked quite a lot for 12-13 years (quit this february....but you'll note the present tense of what is to follow). for all of them i knew 100% that smoking is stupid and that it's unhealthy. it's also really fun, and relaxing, and i like the taste of tobacco, and i like the mouth feel of having a cigarette, and i like how holding one in your hand feels, i like the smell of smoke, i like everything about smoking (except the waking up in the middle of the night hacking my face off and the fact that my wife is disgusted by cigarette smoke) MORE than i give a shit about the health problems.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Belial wrote:Gah. "Maybe people just don't *know* it's bad for them. Let's make the warning bigger, and add pictures!"

You guys. Stop. People know. They just don't care.

this.

i smoked quite a lot for 12-13 years (quit this february....but you'll note the present tense of what is to follow). for all of them i knew 100% that smoking is stupid and that it's unhealthy. it's also really fun, and relaxing, and i like the taste of tobacco, and i like the mouth feel of having a cigarette, and i like how holding one in your hand feels, i like the smell of smoke, i like everything about smoking (except the waking up in the middle of the night hacking my face off and the fact that my wife is disgusted by cigarette smoke) MORE than i give a shit about the health problems.


I also smoked/occasionally sneak a ciggy and I agree with you BUT the pictures aren't there to stop current smokers, they are there to dissuade new smokers.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Angua » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

Yeah, I think the pictures are more to help combat the idea that the dangers of smoking aren't so bad really, and won't apply to you - the shock value and imagery helps make it more real for people who haven't quite got hooked yet.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:48 pm UTC

i don't know anyone who doesn't know that lung cancer is miserable, or what cigarettes can do to you though. even teenagers.

i started smoking sometime after my dad's second bypass surgery, where his almost life long (at the time) smoking habit was a major cause of his almost dying twice.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Роберт » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

Decker wrote:Guys, we should add pictures of morbidly obese people and plaque clogged hearts to all Big Mac wrappers!

...That seems frighteningly plausible now that I typed it.

We should petition the white house to do this. Do you realize that a single burger from burger king (triple whopper with cheese) contains over 150% of your total daily recommended maximum saturated fat?

Someone should totally petition Obama and see what the lower level staffer has to say about it.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Arrian » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

Two questions: What is the actual smoking rate in Australia, how does that compare to other similar nations, and what is the trend? Also, does this only apply to the package, does it say anything about the cigarettes themselves? Cause if it doesn't, I foresee Australia having the coolest looking cigs in the world pretty soon.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Decker » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:We should petition the white house to do this. Do you realize that a single burger from burger king (triple whopper with cheese) contains over 150% of your total daily recommended maximum saturated fat?

Someone should totally petition Obama and see what the lower level staffer has to say about it.

See, if I was that staffer, I would say get your sandwiches at Wendy's. If you're going to slowly kill yourself you might as well enjoy it.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby yurell » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:06 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:Two questions: What is the actual smoking rate in Australia, how does that compare to other similar nations, and what is the trend?


For Australia:

Spoiler:
How many men smoke in Australia?
In 1945 approximately 72% of Australian men smoked.
The rate has been dropping ever since then.
In 2007 only 18% of Australian males were daily smokers.
The daily smoking rate among men in NSW was 18.3% in 2007.

What about women?
In 1945 26% of Australian women smoked.
By 1976 this figure had risen to a peak of 33%.
In 2007 women were smoking at a lower rate than men with 15.2% still smoking daily.
The daily smoking rate among women in NSW was 14.5% in 2007.

What about youth?
A 2005 survey of Australian secondary school students found that smoking rates were 9% among boys and 10% among girls aged 12 to 17.

The figures peaked at 19% for 17 year old boys and 17% for 17 year old girls.

Among students in NSW smoking rates were 8.5% among boys and 8.3% among girls aged 12 to 17.

The NSW students figures peaked at 18.5% for 17 year old boys and 15.2% for 17 year old girls.

Which age groups smoke most?
The highest rates of daily smoking among Australian men were in the 18-24 years age group (34%) ; for women in the 25-34 years age group (27%).


In Australia, the smoking rate is about 2% of the population fewer than in the US.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:I also smoked/occasionally sneak a ciggy and I agree with you BUT the pictures aren't there to stop current smokers, they are there to dissuade new smokers.

Does it work? I bought a pack in Canada once, and it had this huge picture of kids on it with the text "Stop Killing Us." I laughed.

Is there any evidence that making the warning huge, grotesque, and completely over-the-top has any effect at all on smokers, old or new?

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Torchship » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:Two questions: What is the actual smoking rate in Australia, how does that compare to other similar nations, and what is the trend? Also, does this only apply to the package, does it say anything about the cigarettes themselves? Cause if it doesn't, I foresee Australia having the coolest looking cigs in the world pretty soon.


NSW Cancer Council says 18% of men and 15% of women are daily smokers, compared to 23% male and 18% female in the US (so sayeth the CDC (warning, big PDF. Page 10 has the relevant summaries)). Not a huge difference, but it is there. I'm too lazy to look up the confidence intervals on those numbers.

DSenette wrote:i don't know anyone who doesn't know that lung cancer is miserable, or what cigarettes can do to you though. even teenagers.

i started smoking sometime after my dad's second bypass surgery, where his almost life long (at the time) smoking habit was a major cause of his almost dying twice.


Somehow, I don't think extrapolating to the rest of humanity based on your personal experiences is the best of ideas. If statistics and studies (I hope the government bases its decisions off decent statistics) have determined that the images are effective, on what grounds can you argue?

EDIT: my statistics were cooler. Hmph.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Angua » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i don't know anyone who doesn't know that lung cancer is miserable, or what cigarettes can do to you though. even teenagers.

i started smoking sometime after my dad's second bypass surgery, where his almost life long (at the time) smoking habit was a major cause of his almost dying twice.

You might know, but there are numerous studies where you ask someone what they think their personal risk of getting x is (eg cancer) - they'll generally give you a low answer, then you show give them the actual statistics, and ask them again, and while the number may go up, it's still a lot lower than the actual risk (optimists are more likely to underestimate the risks to themselves, and I wouldn't be surprised that addicts are way off too).
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby yurell » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Is there any evidence that making the warning huge, grotesque, and completely over-the-top has any effect at all on smokers, old or new?


I believe there is, although this site isn't too good with numbers. The closest anecdote I can think of is when they first started showing pictures of starving African children the amount of donations increased incredibly (although I can't find where I discovered this information), even though everyone knew that children were starving in Africa anyway.

And while there may not be a causal relation,smoking rates have dropped drastically with the introduction of the packaging warning signs.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:I also smoked/occasionally sneak a ciggy and I agree with you BUT the pictures aren't there to stop current smokers, they are there to dissuade new smokers.

Does it work? I bought a pack in Canada once, and it had this huge picture of kids on it with the text "Stop Killing Us." I laughed.

Is there any evidence that making the warning huge, grotesque, and completely over-the-top has any effect at all on smokers, old or new?


I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty confident there is at least some effect, and even if it's negligible, it doesn't matter, it's done now and they can't very well remove them because that would probably appear like the government backing down on their anti-smoking stance.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby psyck0 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Gah. "Maybe people just don't *know* it's bad for them. Let's make the warning bigger, and add pictures!"

You guys. Stop. People know. They just don't care.

FYI, putting those pics on cigarette packages actually DID decrease smoking levels for a period after they were introduced. It is a public health measure that works. The decline eventually stopped and partially reversed, as people got used to them, but it's still lower than it was.

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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:16 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:
Belial wrote:Gah. "Maybe people just don't *know* it's bad for them. Let's make the warning bigger, and add pictures!"

You guys. Stop. People know. They just don't care.

FYI, putting those pics on cigarette packages actually DID decrease smoking levels for a period after they were introduced. It is a public health measure that works. The decline eventually stopped and partially reversed, as people got used to them, but it's still lower than it was.

right, you get a short period of "holy shit, for real?" and then that gets replaced by "wait, i already knew how shitty this was and didn't give a shit before"
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Adam H » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

Prediction: 10 years from now the marlboro logo will be a sickly baby. This has the unfortunate side-effect of making sickly babies remind smokers of a pleasurable experience.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Metaphysician » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

This just makes me not want to quit smoking lol. I feel like if I quit now, I'm going to help their statistic prove that their methods are effective.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby ShootTheChicken » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

Yeah, you'll show them!
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Роберт » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:This just makes me not want to quit smoking lol. I feel like if I quit now, I'm going to help their statistic prove that their methods are effective.

LOL, that makes sense. "But it sounds like if I quit now, it's because of their stupid propaganda... so I can't quit."

Don't give into that logic, and quit anytime you want. I'd encourage it. But I can see how it would make you feel that way.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Dark567 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:This just makes me not want to quit smoking lol. I feel like if I quit now, I'm going to help their statistic prove that their methods are effective.

Meh, your one person, the noise will filter you out of any statistics.
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Cleverbeans
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Cleverbeans » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:39 am UTC

I believe in the Canadian case that shortly after they adopted the new packages they noticed a moderate decline in the number of new smokers. However they found the best motivator to help people quit was cost, so they increased taxation heavily.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln


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