Tobacco control is about control – not tobacco

Tobacco control is about control – not tobacco

Tobacco control has never been about protecting the health of smokers. Not one policy – not a single one – that has ever pushed up the price of tobacco, restricted who can purchase tobacco, limited who can sell tobacco, abolished the right to advertise or even brand tobacco products, banned flavours of tobacco, and outlawed the use of tobacco in private or in public locations, or presence of certain people, has ever been designed, approved, or implemented with the well-being of smokers in mind. Historically, this might have been more…

Plain Packaging WTO Woes Grow: Indonesia Also Says No

Plain Packaging WTO Woes Grow: Indonesia Also Says No

Indonesia has joined the burgeoning international movement against Australia’s plain packaging laws. The World Trade Organisation has announced that Indonesia “had made a formal request for consultations with Australia” over plain packaging. The controversial policy has already pushed Honduras, Ukraine, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to ask the WTO to intervene in the dispute over the world’s most tyrannical tobacco packaging laws. These tobacco-supplying nations argue that plain packaging laws create illegal obstacles to world trade, breaching intellectual property rights and international trade rules. With Indonesia initiating dispute resolution proceedings,…

Honduras Takes Plain Packaging Fight to WTO

Honduras Takes Plain Packaging Fight to WTO

Plain packaging is firmly back on the international agenda, with Honduras joining Ukraine in pushing the World Trade Organisation to set up a dispute resolution panel over the worlds most ridiculous tobacco control measure. Tobacco producing nations, including the Dominican Republic and Cuba, argue that plain packaging laws create illegal obstacles to world trade. Australia’s obsession with infantilising smokers has seen Canberra and the High Court bluntly refusing to acknowledge that preventing an entire industry from branding its products is a plain infringement of intellectual property. Australia has so far…

Thank You Smokers!

Thank You Smokers!

You’ve seen smoke free zones before – but when was the last time you saw a free smoke zone? Today’s National Thank You Smokers Day event in Brisbane would have been the first time for many. A group of volunteers in the Queen St Mall crowdfunded cigarettes to offer to adult smokers, and handed out fliers with information about the taxes on tobacco. Of course, the protest in no way promoted smoking or smoking-related products – the only promotion going on was of gratitude to smokers for their disproportionately huge…

Are You Serious, Kevin?

Are You Serious, Kevin?

Kevin Rudd is getting Serious About Smoking. Again. Destroying commercial intellectual property rights, restricting the actions of citizens in public and in private, distributing horrific imagery, and scouring hip pockets for loose change is not serious, apparently. Inflating the retail price of a three dollar good to over twenty dollars? That’s a serious fix. Today’s announced 12.5% tobacco excise hike each year for the next four years is a shameful reflection on an incompetent government who simply can’t handle a budget. The speed with which raising tobacco excise again springs…

Plain Packaged Food: Coming Sooner Than You Think!

Plain Packaged Food: Coming Sooner Than You Think!

We have consistently argued that the slippery slope started by the plain packaging of tobacco products would quickly spread to calls for food and alcohol to be presented in plain packages. Nanny statists scoffed at our claims, but it seems that plain packaging for food might becoming sooner than even we thought! A panel of food science, nutrition and manufacturing experts will tackle whether tobacco’s plain packaging approach would help curb the state’s growing obesity epidemicat the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology convention today. This follows February’s call…

UK Dumps Plain Packaging: Australia Must Follow Suit

UK Dumps Plain Packaging: Australia Must Follow Suit

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance & MyChoice Australia today welcomed news that the British government has unceremoniously dumped all proposed tobacco plain packaging legislation. The Sun newspaper today reported that British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered plain packaging to be pulled from next week’s Queen’s Speech, with a Whitehall source saying plain packaging has “nothing to do with the government’s key purpose”. Over half a million British residents wrote to the government saying they objected to the policy being implemented.  “The British Government has admitted what we have known all…

Plain Packaging For Food: Coming Sooner Than You Think

Plain Packaging For Food: Coming Sooner Than You Think

When plain packaging for tobacco was introduced in Australia, we pointed out this would soon lead to calls for plain packaging for alcohol, for food, etc. This claim was ridiculed by Australia’s Chief Bully-Statist, sociologist Simon Chapman: Look, if the slope is slippery, it’s the most unslippery slippery dip I’ve ever seen in my life. The “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false. The slippery slope metaphor was given its biggest ever workout… Of course, the calls soon started….

Plain Packaging For … Cars???

Plain Packaging For … Cars???

We’ve written before about proposals for plain packaging for alcohol even for food, but this proposal, published in The Age, shocked even me: Thanks to Nicola Roxon and the federal government, we now have plain packaging for cigarettes. Cigarette sales are declining. Can we please move on to plain packaging for cars? Over the past 30 years, I’ve watched the design of cars becoming ever more aggressive and sinister. Scowling headlights and hulking lines. Tinted windows so other road users can’t see the driver. Multiple exhausts for the grand prix…

The Global War On ALL ‘Unhealthy’ Packaging

The Global War On ALL ‘Unhealthy’ Packaging

A guest post from UK blogger and good friend of freedom Dick Puddlecote: In October, I wrote about a move by the Icelandic government to ban certain types of alcohol packaging, and how a UK civil service mouthpiece was despatched in an effort to persuade a European court to back them. The upshot is that, not only was the Cabinet Office agent (I like that terminology, seeing as no-one but a select few would have known he was going there) objecting to the slapping down of laws against pretty packaging, he…