I don’t know how much its been in the media outside of our little corner of the world but New Zealand and Australia are currently in a humdinger of a fight with the global tobacco giants. what about I hear you say?
Plain packaging like these below.
I’m not talking about the warning labels, we have had those for years. I mean the fact the only way to known brand and type/variant is that little one line of text. This was first suggested in NZ by the Department of Health’s Toxic Substances Board (great name) in 1989 but the real push has been a government goal to have NZ smoke free by 2025! We have no displays in shops, No Advertising, No sponsorship, No smoking in bars and restaurants. These all happened with minimal fight from the tobacco companies but they are getting riled up with this one.
The discussion is this. Is New Zealand by pushing for plain packaging impinging on the intellectual rights of tobacco companies? If so it is warranted in the public interest?
British and American Tobacco and others are pushing their message with a campaign see below.
BAT are pushing a campaign that the changes will make no difference to smoking rates quoting their own studies and ignoring others.
The crux is that it has not been trialed anywhere in the world. Anyways its an interesting public health stoush and ill keep you posted =)