It would be quite nice if the pictures of dead people’s body parts were removed from cigarette packets, but in keeping with the general obfuscation, exaggeration and misinformation of the anti-smoking lobby, “plain” in this case does not actually mean “plain”.
What it really means is that the brand names and colours of the packaging will be removed and changed to green, and the pictures of the dead people’s body parts and other horrors will be made larger.
On the back of the present packaging we are informed that “smoking is a leading cause of death” and gives statistics for deaths from smoking, alcohol, car accidents and suicides.
It does not mention heart attacks, cancer, stroke or old age.
Isn’t this rather misleading advertising?
We are told of the enormous profits being made by tobacco companies, but that is not really true either, is it?
If one considers how much a carton of cigarettes cost, duty-free overseas for instance on a Greek cruise boat, which is about 11 euros or $15, and compares that with the cost of a similar carton in Australia — about $120 — we will discover that it is our own government who is making the enormous profit, more than 80 per cent on all sales.
Recently the duty-free allowance for cigarettes has been reduced from a carton of 200 to 50.
It is not possible to buy 50 cigarettes at Singapore airport, so, in effect, there is no duty-free allowance at all.
What is the purpose of that draconian and suddenly imposed law?
It will hardly deter any smoker from smoking.
It simply means that our greedy government will receive an extra $100 per carton in tax and duty.
Earlier this year I was at Rawson, having a quiet smoke and a cup of coffee outside a cafe, and was astonished when a man popped out of the cafe and shouted that all smoking was banned in the outdoors in the Baw Baw Shire and I could be fined $500 for doing so.
Now I hear some fanatical idiot wants outdoor smoking banned in the whole of Victoria.
What is that expected to achieve?
It will not reduce the number of smokers, but will only cause further discomfort and marginalisation of present smokers, and give every other person in Victoria the chance to join the general attack on what has become, apparently, the serious crime of smoking.
Australians pride themselves on being a tolerant society, so how does it come about that we now accept bullying and persecution of a minority (smokers) without question from the majority?
It is starting to look like the Spanish Inquisition.
I advise all non-smokers, and particularly drinkers, to have another more penetrating look at this anti-smoking hysteria, and wonder perhaps who will be next, if it is allowed to continue.