Activists Cry Foul Over Ad Campaign By Tobacco Industry Against Plain Packaging

by Gopalan on  September 11, 2010 at 8:35 PM Lifestyle News
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 Activists Cry Foul Over Ad Campaign By Tobacco Industry Against Plain Packaging
The tobacco industry in Australia is throwing money like never before. At least nine million dollars, according to some estimates, to lobby against the move to introduce plain cigarette packaging. Consumer groups are crying foul and want the campaign to be pulled.
The Kevin Rudd government in April announced plans for cigarettes to be sold in plain brown packaging from 2012, bearing only graphic health warnings and the brand in black typeface.
The tobacco industry is preparing to pour $3.97 million, on top of the $5.4 million already spent, into phase two of its campaign, to coincide with the AFL and NRL finals season this weekend.
The TV ads are supposedly issued by the Alliance of Australian Retailers, and the alliance claims to represent 19,000 corner stores, petrol stations and newsagents.
But  new documents  leaked to The Sydney Morning Herald show that the tobacco firm Philip Morris hired the public relations firm Civic Group to manage the campaign for the alliance.
The Victorian president of the Public Health Association of Australia, Helen Keleher, said the ads were deceitful and a ''backdoor way of advertising the product." It is illegal to advertise cigarettes on Australian TV, and Professor Keleher said the ban should be extended to all ads funded by the tobacco industry.
VicHealth chief executive Todd Harper called for urgent action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ''to shut down this dishonest campaign''.
He said the leaked information showed ''how far the tobacco industry was prepared to go to buy the outcome that it wanted'' and if the campaign succeeded, more people would die.
Jennifer Macey of the ABC News notes, "The international tobacco companies are of course terrified that this measure will domino all around the world, just as many things which have originated in Australia have.
"Graphic pack warnings; dozens of countries have got them. Bans on smoking in work places; Australia was one of the leaders there. Bans on small packs of cigarettes - less than 20 - started in Australia. Plain packaging is a measure which scares the tobacco industry to death."

Source: Medindia

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I do not smoke, not for the last 16 years anyway, but that was my choice. It is not against the the law for a person to smoke, so why treat smokers like they were doing something illegal? If people do not want to allow smoking, then make it illegal. To all you smokers out there. Smoking is your choice, so if you want to smoke good luck to you, don't get pushed around. If they force retail outlets to sell in plain packets, or packets with gruesome photos on them, do as I did when I was younger. But a fancy cigarette case and put your smokes in there. That way you will not have to look at their pictures.


Let’s be clear, these foreign owned companies are death dealing drug pushers. They will kill more Australians than any terrorist organisation could even dream of. They choose to support Abbotts coalition because he is more likely to let them continue their filthy trade. Over the last 10years they have donated $2.5millions dollars to the coalition. The labor party refuses donations from them. The pro smoking anti-labor ad campaign is being run by a former Howard government advisor. Some perspective; smoking kills 19,000 Australians and maims and addict hundreds of thousands of others. That's more deaths than alcohol, all other drugs, all car, plane, household accidents put together. During the second world the combined recourses of all our enemies manages to kill 40,000 Australians over the course of the six year conflict. The tobacco companies will achieve that number of deaths in just two and manage to turn a profit in the process. How is this legal?


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