Snowdon’s “White Paper” and more…
ASA rules against JTI’s anti-plain tobacco packs ad
August 4, 2014
An anti-plain tobacco packaging ad Japan Tobacco International has been ruled misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
The move has been backed by anti-smoking organsiation ASH, which complained, along with Cancer Research UK, against the 2013 advert. However, JTI has rejected the ruling and is taking its case to the ASA’s independent reviewer.
The national press ad included a reproduction of an email from the UK Department of Health to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. The email featured text from a civil servant enquiring about the evidence on standard packaging in Australia.
It stated: “You will be aware that the UK Government is considering the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products. As I’m sure you are aware, one of the difficulties regarding this is that nobody has done this and therefore there isn’t any hard evidence to show that it works.”
Text beneath the original email said: “We couldn’t have put it better ourselves”.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Yet again the claims made by JTI have been found to be false and misleading. The evidence from Australia is clear: standard packs make smoking less attractive and have helped drive down smoking rates. Standard packs will help deter children from starting to smoke, which is why tobacco companies are fighting so hard against it. It’s time for the Prime Minister to say that the tobacco industry won’t succeed in its dishonest campaign, and that Parliament will get the chance to vote on standard packs Regulations before the next Election.”
In its adjudication the ASA noted that the date of the email was included in the ad but considered that the presentation of that information was not clear and that in any event readers would consider the highlighted reference to “there isn’t any hard evidence to show that it works” as being a reference to the position at the time the ad appeared and not only to the position two years earlier.
The ASA added: “We considered consumers would interpret the claim to mean that no real evidence existed to support the introduction of plain packaging at the time the ad appeared.”
June 4, 2014
Today we see the smug face of Bob Blackman MP who is, apparently, rejoicing in the fact that Cameron is forwarding with the ridiculous plans for Plain Packing (PP), yet there are a considerable number of sensible Tory MPs who object… and they object on the most sensible of grounds too! let’s go via Bob ‘blackheart’ Blackman first shall we…
22 May 2014
by Dick Puddlecote
I expect there are some UK politicians thinking that once plain packaging is passed (despite overwhelming public rejection) there can’t be much else for tobacco control industry executives to nag them about. They’d be wrong.
Please note that this is from New Zealand and not from The Daily Mash.
Public health researchers say the Government’s next step after introducing plain packaging for tobacco should be to make cigarettes ugly by changing them to a dark green or brown colour which made young people think of “slime, vomit or pooh”.
A tobacco control lobby group told a parliamentary committee that cigarettes themselves were the “new canvas” for anti-smoking initiatives
[Researcher and former public health physician Professor Richard Edwards, representing anti-smoking group Aspire2025, said] “Dissuasive sticks would remove the final illusion – the idea that clean white sticks with purposeful but actually useless filters can somehow purify what is an inherently toxic product. They expose cigarettes for what they are.”
The final illusion? Wasn’t ‘glitzy’ packaging supposed to be that just recently?
With plain packaging, all the sticks were mandated by the Aussie government to be white because brands such as Sobranie Cocktails – which I haven’t seen since the 1970s until the prohibitionists reminded us they still exist – are guaranteed to create craving for tobacco in kids, but now white is a dangerous colour too?
Is this an admission that they already know plain packaging in New Zealand will fail just as it has in Australia?
Or does anyone else get the image of a bunch of highly-paid anti-smoking lobbyists, sitting round a table astonished at the gullibility of politicians having legislated their daft ideas in such short order, and desperately trying to come up with something – anything – to extend the life of their grants and salaries?
Incidentally, the ‘research’ consisted of interviews with a whopping 14 adultsocial smokers aged 18 to 24, and was led by Janet Hoek. Janet is a botanist, zoologist and Beowulf expert from the Marketing (?) department of New Zealand’s Otago University who has – for many years – called for processed food to be treated like it were tobacco.
She likes these kind of tiny sample sizes to reach a pre-determined conclusion, as she proved when presenting a published study of 13 adult social smokers which ‘proved’ that there was strong support for “extending the smoke-free areas outside bars”.
Of course, this was brilliant and sound science, whereas …
The “science” of e-cigarettes:gushing anecdotes from 11 self-selected vapers. This was actually published ascpjournal.org/content/8/1/5/…
— Simon Chapman (@SimonChapman6) March 8, 2013
Got all that?
So coloured sticks are evil and plain white good when campaigning for plain packaging. But once that’s in the bag, plain white is seductive and therefore evil and must be changed to pea, ash, tan or sand colour … which are good. Meanwhile, sample sizes of 13 and 14 are excellent evidence-based research, whereas 11 is just a joke.
Insane doesn’t adequately describe these people any more, does it?
The case against plain packaging for cigarettes
November 14, 2013
By Patricia Nurse
Any politician who thinks they can win in 2015 by attacking adult tobacco consumers, should think again. Labour’s blanket smoking ban, for example, didn’t do much for former Labour MP Gillian Merron who was soon booted out because of it.
As a lifelong Lincolnian, and a former Labour supporter until 2007, I find it disturbing that any politician just swallows propaganda without having the intellect to look behind it, nor the manners to want to represent all potential constituents including those who smoke.
To make the case for the defecation of tobacco packaging, which includes images of excrement and urine in a toilet bowl, the anti-smoker industry uses paid-for propaganda which when scrutinised is found to be false.
Of course if they never use the product, ignorant politicians who are being misled wouldn’t care that adult consumers will have their rights to brand recognition, price comparison and product information stolen via plain or standardised packaging.
In addition, such an infantile idea if pushed into law will encourage the already thriving black market to grow and those managing it won’t ask kids how old they are, like regulated, accountable and responsible shopkeepers do at present.
Young people are being shoved into the hands of ruthless criminals to an unregulated contaminated and inferior product because of this backward piece of immature thinking. It has shown that it does not reduce smoking rates but does drive the product underground where fake brands are produced and sold easily to minors with all good protection to date removed in one fell swoop.
And scroll down to Day 15 at this link and you will see an Australian grass roots consumer who says smoking rates have not dropped but consumers are even denied the right to know how much tar and nicotine are in their product of choice.
Once the nannies and puritans get their way on stealing one consumer group’s rights, they can move on to others such as those who like the occasional glass of wine, tot of whisky, or can of beer as public health moves to attack alcohol, chocolate and who knows what else in this age of healthist paranoia on smoking, drinking and obesity.
Don’t tell me that smokers cost the NHS more. They don’t cost nearly as much as those who don’t smoke. Half of us don’t die young either. People like myself who have smoked for a lifetime, longer in fact than politicians like Lucy Rigby, who recently showed her support for such an illiberal and dangerous measure, have been breathing. We have paid far more in tax over several decades than we will ever get back in healthcare at the end of our lives. And to deny us that is downright churlish, nasty and mean.
There is nothing worse than immature politicians who would sleep walk into criminalisation of consumers and that is where plain packaging will take us – another step towards it. If I hear another claiming that the current government has broken a promise to make plain packaging law, I think I’ll spontaneously combust.
There never was such a promise, only a commitment to consultation before deciding on legislation. A staggering 500,000 grass roots consumers said no. 200,000 quangocrats and healthist astroturfers wanted it and quite rightly, the coalition listened to both sides of the argument and found the anti-smokers’ lacking – hence the very sensible delay to see what happens in Australia before condemning our kids to criminals and a loss of billions of pounds to the Treasury unnecessarily.
Politicians should remember that smokers not only enjoy smoking, they vote too and they will not vote for anyone who sets out to attack them more than they are being attacked already. They just want to be left alone.
Smoking, democracy, plain packaging and the Soviets
It’s too soon to say whether plain packaging works, and even if it does, it is undemocratic
23 July 2013
by Richard P Grant
There is no evidence that plain packaging will have any impact on youth smoking rates or the number of adults who smoke. There are, however, several very good reasons why this pointless idea should be rejected. Read on:
Nothing plain about plain packaging – Legislation should be based on evidence – Tackle illicit trade not legitimate businesses – Please, no more nanny state diktats – and more!
Sir Humphrey is now in drag
The civil service’s actions on the plain cigarette packs consultation have been nothing short of a disgrace
By David Atherton
Last Call For Plain Packs Objections
4 July 2012
Many of you have shared your responses to the government’s consultation on the quite daft plans for plain packaging. They’ve all been great to read, especially the more, err, forthright ones. The process ends on Tuesday July 10th, so if you had planned to get your opinion registered on the idea and haven’t yet done so, now would be the time to get a wiggle on.
April 11, 2012
By Benjamin Lazarus
“If I know better than you know what I am up to, it is only because I spend more time with myself than you do.”
― Daniel C. Dennett, Freedom Evolves
I was appalled. Not only had the young lady behind the counter in Sainsbury’s sniggered at my request for a pack of Vogue Menthol’s, but what was truly shocking was the prison gate she had to open in order for one to witness what cigarettes this store had to sell.
Upon asking I was informed this was the new governmental legislation that was implemented at the beginning of April.
This is part of the moral crusade against smokers, which logically will lead to a war on drinkers and fast-food eaters as well – Essentially anything that the state does not wish an individual to do!
Writing in On Liberty, John Stuart Mill claimed:
“Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”
From this logic, a smoker, just like a consumer of alcohol or fast food has the absolute authority to be the gate-keeper of their body, without governmental interference. However, the puritanical crusade against smokers violates this fundamental principle.
The next potential move from the government is to end any form of advertising on cigarette packets, meaning all packets would be a plain, grotesque white.
Smokers today are unable to light a cigarette without being reminded of unpleasant images from the potential consequences of their actions, yet we do not treat our drinkers or sweet eaters in such a manner – proving that this is a moral crusade. After all, cigarette taxation generates more governmental revenue than is used to treat smoking related diseases, so health is clearly not the issue.
So what are children’s incentives to smoke?
As the tobacco industry is banned from advertising – they clearly cannot be encouraged from any form of tobacco marketing.
Rather children will always smoke as they desire to be seen as marginally rebellious, radical, and naughty -smoking is simply a method to do so. This is their incentive.
Their brand-loyalty to Marlboro or Mayfair will occur because they prefer the packaging to another brand’s. But they will still smoke in the first place. Hence, plain packaging will not work, as results have shown in Canada, where smoking actually increased following the ban.
In the recent budget the government implemented a ‘sin tax’ increase of 39 pence on cigarettes.
‘Sin taxes’, according to Mill are “a measure differing only in degree from their entire prohibition”, and that to use artificial inflation upon such undesirable goods is only suited “to a society in which the labouring classes are avowedly treated as children or savages”.
To put it simply – the government should start treating individuals as autonomous adults, rather than interfering in their lives, since smokers are not ”savages”.
This moral crusade naturally has a logical next step. So we must ask ourselves – why end at cigarettes?
What is to stop them moving onto alcohol, fast food, and sweets?
You may think one is being capricious here – yet it is alcohol and obesity that are far greater drains on our NHS than smoking.
So why would such moral crusaders stop at cigarettes if their true intention is the population’s health, and the tax bill for the NHS?
When one looks at it like this it is really quite simple. This is a campaign of frenzied moralism that essentially wishes to enforce militant prohibition. Indeed, this point is proven when one simply asks the question – would these anti-smoking campaigners relax their attitude at all if individuals grew their own tobacco, and rolled their own hand-made cigarettes?
I think the question answers itself.
The government so far seem to be acting as if inspired by Sir Humphrey in Yes, Prime Minister, when he notes:
“Something must be done. This is something, therefore we must do it”.
Thus, all who care about freedom must stop this orgy of bigotry and moralism against smokers continuing.
As the greatest President there never was, Henry Jackson said:
“If you believe in the cause of freedom, then proclaim it, live it and protect it”.
So as this spectre of anti-smoking haunts our great nation, I encourage all who believe in the cause of freedom to stop this militant prohibition against those of us who enjoy our vices, and we must never been made to apologize to anyone for doing so.
Snowdon’s “White Paper”
By Michael J. McFadden
Deborah Arnott (of ASH) says, “The Adam Smith Institute, by publishing this report, is acting as the mouthpiece for the tobacco industry, as it has done on many previous occasions.”
Why is it that whenever Antismokers are confronted with reasonable arguments, their first reaction is always to either (A) Wave The Children in the air, or (B) Claim any opposition must somehow be connected to Big Tobacco? The answer is simple: both are highly effective propaganda tools to use if you don’t actually have real justifications on your side of the argument.
(A) “Waving The Children” inspires a hormonally hard-wired protective response in listenersreaders: we are biologically geared to protect our young, and, no matter WHAT the topic might be, the side that can claim to be “on the side of the children” can borrow strength from the propaganda tool.
(B) Pointing to “Big Tobacco” inspires doubts about the opponent’s honesty because corporations are known to lie in their self-interest, with BT having a particularly public record of having been caught at it. It also inspires doubts about the opponent’s motivations — i.e. are they somehow being paid by BT to say what they say (which is what Arnott directly suggests with her use of the term “mouthpiece) for the Adam Smith Institute.
Mr. Snowdon’s Report is valid and well-argued. It’s no surprise that the fanatics who are against anything even sniffing of resembling a vague support of some aspect of something to do with smoking would choose to attack it with Ad Hominems rather than with substance.
Hands Off Our Packs
In the news today: Chris Snowdon (Velvet Glove Iron Fist) has written a cracking report, published by the Adam Smith Institute, on why plain packaging is a complete waste of time and money.
You may have heard Chris on the Today programme this morning, followed by Five Live Breakfast. The report has been widely featured in the press as well, much to the annoyance of ASH who are accusing the ASI (a world famous libertarian think tank founded in 1977) of being “a mouthpiece for the tobaco industry”. Is that the best they can do?
By coincidence we are delighted to announce that Chris Snowdon is one of the guest speakers at the party that will OFFICIALLY launch Forest’s Hands Off Our Packs! campaign.
Also speaking: Mark Littlewood, the outspoken and often provocative director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs. (He’s a smoker too!)
That’s the good news. The even better news is – you are ALL invited!
Date: Monday 27th February 2012
Venue: St Stephens Club, 34 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AB
The bottom line is, if you are opposed to the plain packaging of tobacco (whatever next – alcohol and fatty foods?), don’t miss what should be a very entertaining evening.
RSVP Nicky on 01223 370156 or email email@example.com
And don’t forget to SIGN UP!
Visit the Hands Off Our Packs website today: