Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

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

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:25 am UTC

Роберт wrote:
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.


Yeah, I know it's silly and in the end my life choices are guided by two things. Reason, and desire. I know smoking is bad for me. But I like smoking. I smoke much less than the average smoker, only about 1/4-1/2 pack per day depending on the day. I know it's not good for me and I plan to quit eventually, but I also suffer from severe ADD and I can't afford medication... nicotine helps control it. I plan to switch to e-cigarettes eventually, or as I like to call them, nicotine inhalers.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:29 am UTC

I have similar motivations and usage. My experience with e-cigarettes was that their wasn't enough nicotine in them, even in the strongest available capsules. So even though I don't smoke many real cigarettes, I had to constantly (and I do mean constantly) use the e-cigarette or I got withdrawal cravings constantly. If I smoked it at the same rate I smoked normal cigarettes, I got just enough nicotine to maintain dependence, so it was like I was in perpetual withdrawal.

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

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:37 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I have similar motivations and usage. My experience with e-cigarettes was that their wasn't enough nicotine in them, even in the strongest available capsules. So even though I don't smoke many real cigarettes, I had to constantly (and I do mean constantly) use the e-cigarette or I got withdrawal cravings constantly. If I smoked it at the same rate I smoked normal cigarettes, I got just enough nicotine to maintain dependence, so it was like I was in perpetual withdrawal.


Good to know before I decide to go drop a hundred bucks on one. Also I never get tired of the dirty looks I get from people everywhere. I like making people feel better about themselves and all I have to do is stand outside a store and smoke.

Back to the topic at hand though. I'm pretty sure everybody knows how bad cigarettes are for you. I'm also pretty sure that if you're trying to reduce smoking in younger people, making it more and more forbidden and disapproved of probably won't be the most effective way to do that. When I was growing up half the kids I knew smoked just to piss off their parents. Maybe this is a really insidious reverse marketing scheme from the tobacco companies?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Steroid » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:41 am UTC

Meanwhile in the US, an injunction against such labels was issued by a federal court because the companies were likely to win a free speech challenge. Which to me is more proof that codified constitutional free speech is necessary to good government, and a thankful backlash against an otherwise unceasing barrage against the commerce rights of cigarette purveyors.

At this point it would seem to be easier to just announce that the companies are required by law to make the maximum effort to avoid sale of their product. You should have to hand-write a 40-page form for each pack acknowledging your risk, purchase only at designated sites 50 miles from the nearest residential area, pay a 5000% tax, and have a 5-day waiting period like for a gun.

Seriously, exactly what rights do cigarette companies have?

PS. Since the cig companies can't advertise, I'll do it for them: smoking is cool! Not smoking makes you a loser.

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

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:42 am UTC

Torchship wrote: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

Am I the only who finds the gender ratios a bit surprising with that? Apparently my own experiences are atypical, but I'd say around 2/3 to 3/4 of the people I have known to smoke or seen smoking were women. Maybe it's an age thing, and in my age bracket (young 20's), the ratio is switched around, but I'd assume the figures would be closer to the study's findings across all ages, and that my experience really is atypical.

Edit:
Steroid wrote:Seriously, exactly what rights do cigarette companies have?

It seems they have the rights to $3.2 billion in profit, at the very least.

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

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:16 am UTC

I'm not surprised to find that this is from Australia. It seems like half the time there is a "WTF?" law discussed on these fora, it is from down under. Also, people smoking is bad, they don't care (as said before).
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Goldstein » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:14 am UTC

My initial reaction to the given smoking prevalence in Australia was that it sounded really high. For comparison, I went to Wolfram Alpha and discovered that the rate is thought to be about 40% higher in the UK. I suppose I've only been counting people as smokers if I observe them actively smoking, which is obviously a much lower proportion of the population.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby psyck0 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Meanwhile in the US, an injunction against such labels was issued by a federal court because the companies were likely to win a free speech challenge. Which to me is more proof that codified constitutional free speech is necessary to good government, and a thankful backlash against an otherwise unceasing barrage against the commerce rights of cigarette purveyors.

At this point it would seem to be easier to just announce that the companies are required by law to make the maximum effort to avoid sale of their product. You should have to hand-write a 40-page form for each pack acknowledging your risk, purchase only at designated sites 50 miles from the nearest residential area, pay a 5000% tax, and have a 5-day waiting period like for a gun.

Seriously, exactly what rights do cigarette companies have?

PS. Since the cig companies can't advertise, I'll do it for them: smoking is cool! Not smoking makes you a loser.

Oh god! Won't someone think of the multibillionaire cigarette company CEOs! Being forbidden from selling what is likely the most addictive and harmful drug in mass consumption (alcohol might be more harmful, but nicotine is definitely the most addictive of any drug) is a massive violation of their right to make money off the suffering and death of others.

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

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:15 pm UTC

I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby DSenette » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:27 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:
Steroid wrote:Meanwhile in the US, an injunction against such labels was issued by a federal court because the companies were likely to win a free speech challenge. Which to me is more proof that codified constitutional free speech is necessary to good government, and a thankful backlash against an otherwise unceasing barrage against the commerce rights of cigarette purveyors.

At this point it would seem to be easier to just announce that the companies are required by law to make the maximum effort to avoid sale of their product. You should have to hand-write a 40-page form for each pack acknowledging your risk, purchase only at designated sites 50 miles from the nearest residential area, pay a 5000% tax, and have a 5-day waiting period like for a gun.

Seriously, exactly what rights do cigarette companies have?

PS. Since the cig companies can't advertise, I'll do it for them: smoking is cool! Not smoking makes you a loser.

Oh god! Won't someone think of the multibillionaire cigarette company CEOs! Being forbidden from selling what is likely the most addictive and harmful drug in mass consumption (alcohol might be more harmful, but nicotine is definitely the most addictive of any drug) is a massive violation of their right to make money off the suffering and death of others.

the product is completely, 100% legal to sell. everywhere, to anyone who meets the legal age requirement. if you REALLY think that cigarettes are the most harmful thing on the planet, you should be convincing the government to make them 100% illegal to sell or posses. making them harder to sell or harder to buy the stupid way of trying to fix an issue.

also, no matter what kind of evil you want to claim, there isn't a single tobacco company on the planet that forces anyone to smoke.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Hawknc » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?

Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.

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

Postby Dark567 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:00 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.
You would call this maintaining consumer freedom?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby mike-l » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?

Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.

Can't tell if you think this is a good or a bad thing.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?

Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.


I'm still not comfortable with that level of infringement on free speech. I'm totally cool with banning sellers from even implying that cigarettes aren't deadly, but to make attractive color schemes on the packaging illegal seems like a bit much to me. At that point you're pretty much insulting the intelligence of the people who do buy them. People should be allowed to poison themselves in peace if they make the informed decision to do so.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Hawknc wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?

Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.


I'm still not comfortable with that level of infringement on free speech. I'm totally cool with banning sellers from even implying that cigarettes aren't deadly, but to make attractive color schemes on the packaging illegal seems like a bit much to me. At that point you're pretty much insulting the intelligence of the people who do buy them. People should be allowed to poison themselves in peace if they make the informed decision to do so.

Now, let's expand that rationale to the rest of the (sometimes less harmful than cigs, but still illegal for whatever stupid reason) recreational substances.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:39 pm UTC

All fast food restaurants serving any product with greater than 3g saturated fat per serving must henceforth have no less than 10 150" high definition television screens broadcasting, at no less than 200 decibels, videos of persons, in bikinis weighing no less than 500lbs, breakdancing to Scandinavian death metal. In addition, all such restaurants must have exactly 12 parking spaces, nine dedicated to handicapped drivers; a drive-through capable of servicing no more than 30 vehicles per hour; a square floor plan of 20' x 20' including, no more than 50 sq ft dedicated to dining and not to exceed a capacity of 8 seated persons, two 8' x 8' bathrooms and a 6' x 6' handicap accessible unisex restroom. No wall, display, paper, or any similar material may be printed or painted with any color except baby diarrhea green, excepting text. All text must be printed in a technically legible extremely cursive 12 point font, in the color no-see-um green.

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

Postby M.C. » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

I was on the fence until the big tobacco companies launched a huge advertising campaign, with contradictory claims about how it wouldn't hurt/would hurt tobacco industries. (Advertised under the name of "the Alliance of Australian Retailers, a lobby group formed by Phillip Morris). They are scared about losing customers.

Also, corporations are not people. Some companies deserve not to have the ability to advertise. McDonalds are already banned from ads during times when children watch TV, and must have nutritional information on the wrapper, so it's not like Tobacco is being singled out.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Hawknc » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:16 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:
Hawknc wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I just don't understand how they can get support for over the top shit like this, but not an outright ban. How many people are there that think banning cigarettes would be unacceptable, but requiring the plastering of grotesque pictures and banning of all aesthetics on the packages is okay?

Welcome to Australia, where corporations aren't people. Limiting the freedom of corporations for the public good while maintaining consumer freedom is an acceptable measure.

Can't tell if you think this is a good or a bad thing.

As I said before, I'm interested to see the end result of this measure. I'm comfortable on this here fence until then.

setzer777 wrote:I'm still not comfortable with that level of infringement on free speech. I'm totally cool with banning sellers from even implying that cigarettes aren't deadly, but to make attractive color schemes on the packaging illegal seems like a bit much to me. At that point you're pretty much insulting the intelligence of the people who do buy them. People should be allowed to poison themselves in peace if they make the informed decision to do so.

What information, choice or freedom do you think has been taken away from consumers with this action?

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

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

The freedom not to be assaulted by nauseating pictures? It's like a campus making /b/ the mandatory homepage for all students and staff using the campus internet connection. Sure, I can go to another school, but that's probably problematic for different reasons.

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

Postby M.C. » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:46 pm UTC

The pictures have been on cigarette packets since 2006. They aren't anything new. Adding to that, cigarettes are prohibited from being openly displayed; nearly all stores have them under the counter or behind some sort of screen or cupboard door. The audience is made up entirely of smokers, who either ignore the information or decide to quit.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:50 pm UTC

M.C. wrote:Also, corporations are not people. Some companies deserve not to have the ability to advertise. McDonalds are already banned from ads during times when children watch TV, and must have nutritional information on the wrapper, so it's not like Tobacco is being singled out.


Okay, so some don't deserve to have the ability to advertise, but isn't it a bit much to say that they don't deserve to have a logo, or a package color that distinguishes themselves from other brands? At that point I think you should just come out and push for a ban directly. This just seems like an attempt to weasel around having to actually fight for that.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby M.C. » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:59 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Okay, so some don't deserve to have the ability to advertise, but isn't it a bit much to say that they don't deserve to have a logo, or a package color that distinguishes themselves from other brands? At that point I think you should just come out and push for a ban directly. This just seems like an attempt to weasel around having to actually fight for that.


Branding is the only existing channel tobacco companies have for advertising, and I see no harm in closing that. Nor do I see something wrong with protecting consumers by limiting the ability of tobacco companies to speak in the public discourse. The goal is to stigmatise smoking, reduce the levels of acceptance in the community, not to stop people who want to buy it from doing so.

If marijuana cannot be effectively banned then there is no chance of the same happening to tobacco. It would be a waste of resources. But the closely regulated market that this legislation leads towards is exactly the type I'd want for marijuana, or any other recreational drug, if it were legal.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby setzer777 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:09 am UTC

Doesn't that give the existing sellers (or in the case of hypothetically legalized drugs: first sellers) an unfair advantage? If companies have absolutely no way of effectively letting consumers know that their product even exists, or distinguishing themselves from competitors, then that just hands domination of the market to the first company to somehow establish name recognition.

Edit: Also, I don't see why consumers need to be "protected" from non-deceitful advertising (and I don't think you can argue that an attractive color scheme on your package is deceiving anyone).
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby M.C. » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:12 am UTC

The difficulty of starting a new tobacco brand isn't really a concern for me.

EDIT: It's more about removing the allure of the brand in an effort to reduce the attractiveness of the product. It's not the advertising that is the problem, it's the product. Anything that encourages use of the product is a bad thing by association.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby setzer777 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:29 am UTC

And I just think that's kind of ridiculous. Clearly smoking has an allure, otherwise nobody who knew the risks would ever start. I think that as long as smoking is legal and people have the facts to make an informed decision, other people should be allowed to point out that smoking (or drug use in general) can be fun, in addition to being deadly. Because that's a true statement.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby aldonius » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:38 am UTC

In a market which is being very heavily taxed and regulated, with an aim to minimise its existence... yeah, the benefit of removing the last advertising channel available to that market outweighs the disbenefit of effectively closing off the market to newcomers.

I mean, what could the existing companies do in a cartel situation? If they adulterate their product, they'll get caught out quickly enough. If they raise prices, well, tobacco products are already punitively taxed to discourage consumption, this will just accelerate that process.

@setzer777: nothing is stopping you from telling your mates "grab a ciggy, it's amazing". All that matters is whether the tobacco industry is paying you.

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

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:19 am UTC

I'm with setzer. This just seems like a sketchy way of avoiding the political consequences of an outright ban, when a total cessation of smoking is the obvious political motivation. At least with punitive sin taxes, the state gets paid to do good things with.

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

Postby Torchship » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:24 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I'm with setzer. This just seems like a sketchy way of avoiding the political consequences of an outright ban, when a total cessation of smoking is the obvious political motivation. At least with punitive sin taxes, the state gets paid to do good things with.


Fundamentally, yes. But what's wrong with that? An outright ban is completely politically impossible, and will likely be ultimately counter-effective (as a thriving black market develops). Instead of banning cigarettes, the Australian government aims to achieve approximately the same thing through discouraging new smokers with the pictures and slowly remove established smokers with the lack of branding and "sin taxes".

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

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:33 am UTC

I just find the scheme more at place in cartoons than the real world?

Plus, you know, if politicians are supposed to represent their constituents and their constituents wouldn't support an outright ban, then using underhanded methods to try and achieve the same result is, like, piss-poor democracy.

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

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:34 am UTC

M.C. wrote:Also, corporations are not people. Some companies deserve not to have the ability to advertise. McDonalds are already banned from ads during times when children watch TV, and must have nutritional information on the wrapper, so it's not like Tobacco is being singled out.
What if its not a corporation, but a privately owned operation?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby M.C. » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:39 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I just find the scheme more at place in cartoons than the real world?

Plus, you know, if politicians are supposed to represent their constituents and their constituents wouldn't support an outright ban, then using underhanded methods to try and achieve the same result is, like, piss-poor democracy.


But the legislation, while having the same goal as a ban, is not the same as a ban. You can still buy them if you want. They are still going to be available in the same places as they were before.

Most people wouldn't support an outright ban, but most would support any effort to reduce people smoking. This legislation aims to satisfy both groups.

Dark567 wrote:What if its not a corporation, but a privately owned operation?

Do such tobacco companies exist?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Torchship » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:47 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I just find the scheme more at place in cartoons than the real world?

Plus, you know, if politicians are supposed to represent their constituents and their constituents wouldn't support an outright ban, then using underhanded methods to try and achieve the same result is, like, piss-poor democracy.


Modern Western democracy is founded, to a large extent, around the idea that some actions must be taken with or without the blessing of the majority, for that same majority's own good. That's like half the reason we have elected officials in the first place; to make necessary decisions that the population as a whole does not want (the other half is that having referenda for every little issue is unfeasable). It's doubtful that you'd be able to find a majority of people supporting any particular tax increase, but democratically elected officials force them through against popular opinion every day.
Obviously the actions of the government should reflect the will of the people in a very general sense, but I see no reason that the government must follow populist logic in every little act.

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

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:04 am UTC

M.C. wrote:
Dark567 wrote:What if its not a corporation, but a privately owned operation?

Do such tobacco companies exist?
Yes, although they are a relatively small share of the market.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby M.C. » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:09 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
M.C. wrote:
Dark567 wrote:What if its not a corporation, but a privately owned operation?

Do such tobacco companies exist?
Yes, although they are a relatively small share of the market.


I'm curious as to how big of a market share such companies would have in Australia, but regardless the public good of banning tobacco advertising still outweighs any negatives to limiting those groups' ability to extol the virtues of tobacco.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:20 am UTC

So it's okay to limit free speech as long as its for (what you consider) in the good of the public?
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby M.C. » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:23 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:So it's okay to limit free speech as long as its for (what you consider) in the good of the public?


Well, advertising at least.
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Re: Cigarette Plain Packaging Laws semi-passed (Australia)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:59 am UTC

Torchship wrote:Modern Western democracy is founded, to a large extent, around the idea that some actions must be taken with or without the blessing of the majority, for that same majority's own good. That's like half the reason we have elected officials in the first place; to make necessary decisions that the population as a whole does not want (the other half is that having referenda for every little issue is unfeasable). It's doubtful that you'd be able to find a majority of people supporting any particular tax increase, but democratically elected officials force them through against popular opinion every day.
Obviously the actions of the government should reflect the will of the people in a very general sense, but I see no reason that the government must follow populist logic in every little act.


I see where you're coming from, but I don't think I would say soft-paternalistic Western democracies were "founded" on the idea that the vulgus populus can't be trusted to take care of themselves. Heck, I wouldn't even say that when they started that was their ostensible goal.

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

Postby EmptySet » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:06 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:So it's okay to limit free speech as long as its for (what you consider) in the good of the public?


...yes? Most places have laws against perjury, slander, and false or misleading advertising, as well as censorship of violence, sexual imagery, and various other things. Some products are also subject to laws outright banning their sale even to people who are otherwise considered legally adults - as the complaint runs, in some parts of America, you can get married, enter into contracts, drive, join the Army, vote, pay taxes and buy a gun at 18... but you're far too irresponsible to buy alcohol or cigarettes. Sex toys, porn and related products are subject to very severe restrictions in how they can be displayed, advertised, and sold, and what type of product can be produced. Many (legal, medical) drugs are also subject to severe restrictions in some places. Sometimes drugs are not allowed to be advertising using a specific brand name, and so advertisements instead just talk about what they're supposed to fix in general and tell you to "ask your doctor" about it, which is effectively an even more restrictive version of plain-packaging laws. Drugs must also include notices about any side effects, food must include nutritional information, and hazardous materials must include warnings that they are toxic/flammable/whatever.

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

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:28 am UTC

I think the followup question, then, is why were the previous regulations and restrictions on tobacco products inadequate and how does eliminating logos and color schemes serve to fill the supposed gap in protecting the public and why the restriction should only apply to tobacco products?

Edit: Also, a lot of the restrictions I personally agree with are the ones that protect consumers from being misled by sellers and producers. Tobacco products already have extensive warnings and public awareness campaigns warning of the risks of smoking. I've always thought the restrictions on "obscene" products were mostly dumb.

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

Postby Torchship » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:40 am UTC

As far as instituting the same limitations on other, similar products goes, I believe the Australian government is attempting something similar with respect to alcohol. Of course, alcohol enjoys far more public support than cigarettes do, so even these kinds of "subtle" limitations are politically impossible. However, there have been a couple of rather notable increases in alcohol taxes over the last couple of years, which is presumably the first stage of a similar plan.


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