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Debate on plain packaging for cigarettes heats up as new data outlines public approval

Tuesday 29 August, 2006

The push for plain packaging for cigarettes has gained momentum, with data revealing that half of Victorian adults approve of the idea.

The data, from the Cancer Council for Victoria, also shows that almost twice as many daily smokers approve of plain packaging for cigarettes rather than disapprove of it.

The data, from a survey of three thousand Victorian adults also indicates:

  • Approximately half of both men (51%) and women (53%) approved of plain packaging
  • Only 1 in 4 Vic adults disapprove of plain packaging on cigarettes
  • Almost a third of daily smokers neither approved nor disapproved of plain packaging on cigarettes.

Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper says the tobacco industry is becoming increasingly dependent on packs as a way to recruit a new generation of smokers and communicate with current customers.

"The only way to stamp out aggressive tobacco industry tactics, using the pack as the primary method of promoting their deadly product, is to force the tobacco industry to adopt plain packaging."

"There is no excuse for using evocative words, numbers or colours on the cigarette pack to undermine the stark reality that tobacco is a product that will eventually kill up to 2 out 3 lifetime users."

Mr Harper said Imperial Tobacco has just released a pack that displays the words ‘EASY DRAW - MORE FLAVOUR - MORE SATISFACTION' when you open a packet of Peter Stuyvesant. This follows the release on Winfield packaging that displays the phrase ‘....anyhow, have a Winfield' on the flipside of the cigarette lid.

"It is incredibly disappointing that any company would attempt to dilute the new graphic health warnings by putting a message that is promoting smoking on a cigarette pack."

"We are concerned that the words ‘EASY DRAW - MORE FLAVOUR - MORE SATISFACTION' mislead the public into thinking there are benefits to smoking, and in our view the phrase is nothing short of a tobacco advertisement.'

"The new Peter Stuyvesant and Winfield packets are a perfect example as to why tobacco products should have plain packaging, that is to stop the sneaky practices of an industry seemingly hell-bent on finding new ways to advertise cigarettes to the public."

 

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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