Plain Packaging Challenged

I’ve always been a bit puzzled how governments can erase product brands, and replace them with its own messages. Other people think the same:

In a note to investors in tobacco stocks Exane BNP Paribas said it had taken legal advice on the potential arguments which could be used to seek compensation if plain packaging cannot be blocked altogether by big tobacco companies.

“The strongest of the legal arguments, in our view, surrounds deprivation’ of intellectual property,” it said.

It said the European Convention on Human Rights and Charter says: “No-one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and under conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss . . . Intellectual property shall be protected.”

Exane BNP Paribas said its understanding of the law was that “member states can take property in the public interest but this must be in exchange for fair compensation.” Trademarks it said were considered to be property.

“Thus if plain packaging meets this criteria the UK or French/Irish government would need to pay fair compensation to the tobacco industry,” Exane BNP Paribas concluded.

Not just in the EU. but also Australia:

Indonesia was recently granted permission by the World Trade Organization to challenge Australia’s plain packaging law, making Indonesia the fifth country granted permission to challenge Australia’s controversial law. Since December of 2012, cigarette packs have been uniform consisting of green packaging, with white labels. However, while attempts by the Australian government to curb the use of cigarettes are noble, the law breaches trade and intellectual property regulations.

 I don’t really see why similar arguments shouldn’t apply to government health warnings on products. If they succeed in reducing consumption, should producers be compensated for their loss?

Along similar lines:

Lords challenge No 10 to prove value of public behaviour ‘nudge’ unit

To my eyes, the real question is whether a ‘nudge unit’ is at all compatible with freedom and democracy, not whether it has ‘value’.

About Frank Davis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Plain Packaging Challenged

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    You have to feel sorry for companies spending millions and million over years (even decades) for some arsehole’s to introduce plain packaging which won’t even work because nobody starts smoking due to how the packet looks like.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Its like the government mandating hit squads like Hitlers brown shirt army

  3. waltc says:

    They’ll likely do it anyway Because They Can. Litigation will take years, and meanwhile they’ll pile error on error, demanding more policing against the growing black market, and merely counting as tobacco- related any health problems from counterfeits.

    CAROL : on hyperventilation.

    If you’re not familiar with the work of a guy named Buteyko, look into it. He claims it’s the cause or exacerbator of both asthma and emphysema, and that retrained breathing can be, if not the cure, considerably better than anything pharma has to offer. Even the NY Times said he got impressive results.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pleasantrys with the enemy being echanged


    @harleyrider1777 @HamRove Let’s all go over to harleyrider’s mother’s house and fart in her face! There is nothing prove that our copious flatulence would at all harm her. Indeed, there is a scientific study from Sri Lanka that proves that she would enjoy great health benefits from our good deed. Indeed, it is our “right” to fart wherever we wish.

    @HamRove @harleyrider1777

    Please simply collect all that methane and be green about it. You can bottle it and then bring it over so Mom can cook your dinner with it!

    Liberals they are just so wasteful with renewable energy!

  5. Nightlight says:

    If government loses and has to pay compensation, it will be added to the taxes on cigarettes. Of course, if they need to pay 10cents per pack to tobacco companies, they will charge tax of 15 or 20, keeping the difference for their great “service” to smokers. So, the best outcome for smokers is for the tobacco companies to lose. Or to switch black market, so that both, big tobacco and big government lose.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      NN a leading cause of Prohibitons repeal was the costs of enforcement plus the loss of revenues to bootleggers. If anything the tax hikes will be repealed back to normal values not increased as it would only further the losses already generated by existing laws.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        In 1996-7 The GOP warned if the tobacco taxes were raised it would cause a blackmarket and you will note that it didn’t happen until Owebummer and his Progressives had a 2 year window of power to screw all of us! 2400% increase on roll your own. But we beat that with cutting the tobacco slices to that of pipe tobacco.

  6. virtualbarman says:

    I notice that the wife’s fags have changed recently (or i’ve noticed it recently anyway) and now have a logo inside the box… Is this to pre-empt plain packaging…?

    Neither of us can read Greek or Turkish so the warnings on the outside are meaningless!

    • nisakiman says:

      I don’t speak Turkish either (an odd language insofar as it doesn’t come from Indo-European roots like most European languages), but the Greek bit says “Smoking seriously harms you and those around you”.

      I guess you bought those in Cyprus, with them having both Turkish and Greek warnings. At least they haven’t gone for the medico-porn yet.

      The stupid thing is that absolutely nobody takes any notice of those warnings. In fact I suspect that the vast majority of smokers don’t even see them. My tobacco (Golden Virginia) has two small (nearly the width of the pack by about one centimetre high) panels with warnings written in them, and I had to take the pack out of my pocket just now to look at it to see what was written. I’ve just never looked before.

      • beobrigitte says:

        I just did remember something rather interesting: In Germany and Austria, tobacco packets have a little banner which states that Smoking can be deadly.
        whereas on English tobacco packets one can read: Smoking kills

        These are two entirely different statements!

        • nisakiman says:

          Absolutely, Brigitte. It has not escaped my notice that UK is just about the only European country that puts blatant lies on its packets of cigs. Just about all the other European countries I’ve noticed are much more circumspect.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    Along similar lines:

    Lords challenge No 10 to prove value of public behaviour ‘nudge’ unit

    Value? WHAT value???

    No 10’s “Nudge Unit” – or the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), as it is officially known – is charged with finding new ways to change public behaviour.
    Inspired by the bestselling 2008 book Nudge, written by US academics Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, the team uses behavioural psychology to examine how people make choices and then suggests small changes that could improve their lives and save taxpayers’ money.

    How many people are working as employees of this Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)? What exactly is their salary?
    I would have to suggest one (perhaps not so little) change: SACK THIS BIT! All of them. Peoples lives improve and taxpayers’ money is saved.

    WHAT money is this government wasting on idiotic ideas?

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Ok folks this one has to be the Wildest yet

    Can you pick it out:

    No smoking on the beach?

    SEASIDE — A proposed rule to restrict smoking of tobacco products on Oregon beaches is open for public comment at a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Seaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway. Comments will also be taken by email.

    The rule to restrict smoking on Oregon state park properties was approved in February by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. Education about the new rule is taking place through 2014, and enforcement begins in 2015. Previous public comments related to the state park rule asked the department to undertake a similar effort on the ocean shore, which is adjacent to many state parks. Citing environmental issues as a primary concern – plastic cigarette butts can persist for years, even in the harsh beach environment – the commission approved a staff request to consider a smoking rule for the ocean shore.

    Has the level of Plastic intelligence reached the bottom next to whale shit yet with these Nazis!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cig butts are 100% bio-degradable in as little as 60 days

      “Degradation of Cellulose Acetate-Based Materials” A Review”, 2010, Juergen Puls, et al.

      “One novel study was the findings by forensic science researchers Northrop and Rowe in 1987, who studied the effect of the soil environment on the biodeterioration of man-made textiles. They found that cellulose acetate fibers were significantly deteriorated after 2 months in moist soil and were completely destroyed after 4-9 months. In this study, the other synthetic textile fibers (nylon, polyester and acrylics) showed no significant changes at the end of the 12 month study.”

      Click to access BiodegradibilityOfFT.pdf

      “The Biological Degradability and Compostabililty of Rhodia Filter Tow”

      “To summarize, the biological degradability of Filter Tow in various environmental conditions can be characterized as follows:

      -in acqueous aerobic miliew: Completely degradable, at rates from moderate to good
      -in acqueous anaerobic miliew: Readily degradable
      -by composting: moderately degradable (several cycles are necessary)

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Allergic to PropyleneGlycol • 40 minutes ago

    This is great for me. I’m one of those hyperallergics who has the unfortunate luck of being sensitive to propylene glycol, a chemical sprayed on cheap tobacco as a humecant in cigarettes (also what makes the fake smoke in e-cigarettes, but that’s another matter). I only patronize non-smoking bars, and this would give me more options. Happy to see many bars already opting for the switch by choice!

    ………………………..This is so funny…………..

    John Davidson Jr > Allergic to PropyleneGlycol • a minute ago

    Your so full of it!

    First off tobacco smoke contains no proteins to be allergic too!

    Next propylene glycol has been used for 60 years as a automated disinfectant spray in hospitals.

    EPA & FDA: Vapor Harmless to Children

    April 3, 2014 matt black

    In the continued war on e-cigarettes, we hear about the “potential dangers” of e-cigarette vapor and the “unknown public health risks.”

    First, I find it absolutely absurd that we’re attempting to pass laws based on unknowns, but what makes it even more absurd is the fact that there’s very little that isn’t known about e-cigarette vapor at this point. The primary ingredient of concern to those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned is the propylene glycol vapor, which has been studied for over 70 years.

    I recently came across a document titled, “Reregistration Eligibility Decision For Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol“, which was created by the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Catchy title. I was intrigued.

    This quote caught my eye:

    Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).

    In a previous post, I had shared the summary of research that had been done in 1942 by Dr. Robertson regarding the antibacterial properties of vaporized propylene glycol, but I had never heard that the FDA wound up approving it for the purpose of an air disinfectant in hospitals.

    Indoor Non-Food: Propylene glycol is used on the following use sites: air treatment (eating establishments, hospital, commercial, institutional, household, bathroom, transportational facilities); medical premises and equipment, commercial, institutional and industrial premises and equipment; (page 6, paragraph 2)


    Method and Rates of Application


    Air Sanitizer

    Read the directions included with the automatic dispenser for proper installation of unit and refill. Remove cap from aerosol can and place in a sequential aerosol dispenser which automatically releases a metered amount every 15 minutes. One unit should treat 6000 ft of closed air space… For regular, non-metered applications, spray room until a light fog forms. To sanitize the air, spray 6 to 8 seconds in an average size room (10’x10′). (page 6, paragraph 6)

    A common argument used to support the public usage ban is that, “Minnesotans have become accustomed to the standard of clean indoor air.” However, according to the EPA and FDA, so long as there’s a “light fog” of propylene glycol vapor in the air, the air is actually more clean than the standard that Minnesotans have become accustomed to.

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.