From Taking Liberties, plain packaging doesn’t work:
New evidence, says Forest, suggests plain packaging will not reduce the number of teenagers who smoke.
Instead of declining since the introduction of plain packaging, youth smoking rates have gone up. According to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, youth smoking rates have increased by 36% in the period 2010-2013.
Plain packaging has had no impact on adults either. Monthly figures for the adult (18+) smoking rate are consistent with the long-term decline of smoking in Australia. Far from accelerating that decline, says Forest, the trend for the year 2013 shows a 1.8% annual increase. (Figures courtesy Roy Morgan Research, Australia’s longest-established market research company with a strong reputation for reliability and accuracy.)
Plain packaging, says Forest, is also fuelling the black market. In Australia in 2012 illicit tobacco stood at 11.5% of tobacco consumption. By mid-2014 it reached an unprecedented 14.3% share of the market, an increase of nearly 25% (KPMG, Illicit tobacco in Australia, 2014 Half Year Report, October 2014).
Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: “Plain packaging hasn’t worked.
But CRUK says it works:
Cancer Research UK said the country’s experiment with unbranded packaging had led to falling smoking rates without creating an illegal black market.
Sarah Woolnough, the charity’s executive director of policy and information, said: “This is an anniversary worth celebrating. Australia took the lead on this issue and two years later they’re reaping the rewards.
“Smoking rates have fallen, more people than ever support standard packs and scare stories about flooding the market with cheap, illegal tobacco have failed to materialise. It’s been a resounding success in Australia and we’re confident the same can happen here.
“Research has shown that removing the colourful designs of tobacco packs reduces the appeal of smoking to children. This measure will help cut the number of people killed by smoking and we’re urging the UK government to take the next steps as soon as possible.”
Perhaps they could agree on a compromise: Plain packaging works! Youth smoking rates are rising!
In other news:
David Cameron faces a huge rebellion by more than 200 of his own MPs who want us out of the European Union.
Party veteran Sir Bill Cash has warned that at least two thirds of the 303 Conservatives in the Commons now want to leave.
And Ebola hasn’t gone away.
Two months ago, the World Health Organization launched an ambitious plan to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, aiming to isolate 70 per cent of the sick and to have 70 per cent safe burials in the three hardest-hit countries— Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — by December 1.
Only Guinea is on track to meet the December 1 goal, according to an update from WHO.
In Liberia, only 23 per cent of cases are isolated and 26 per cent of the needed burial teams are in place. In Sierra Leone, about 40 per cent of cases are isolated while 27 per cent of burial teams are operational…
Earlier this month, the U.S. announced it was scaling back the size and number of Ebola clinics it had initially promised to build in Liberia, citing a drop in cases.
Death toll still mounting:
Nearly 7,000 people have died from Ebola in west Africa, the World Health Organization said late Friday, adding some 1,200 more deaths to a toll from two days earlier.