Fancy a smoke? If the pack of cigarettes you were about to buy was emblazoned with the image shown in this article would you still want one?
Many countries in the West have been trying different angles to dissuade youngsters from becoming smokers whilst hopefully encouraging people who are already hooked to give up. The latest tactic in Australia is packaging cigarettes in unbranded cartons covered with images showing in no uncertain terms what smoking could do for you.
Tobacco companies went to the Australia High Court today, August 15 2012, in an attempt to prevent the changes. These companies claim that their trademarks branding is something of value which will be lost if packs become non branded. The High Court did not agree and rejected the toacoo companies claims.
Only time will tell if covering packs of cigarettes with gruesome images will result in a reduction in smoking. Certainly many of the images are graphic and do not pull any punches. They include imags of cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children. These are all set against an olive green background. Hardly attractive in any way.
The new packs will go on sale in December 2012 and Australian authorities are urging other countries to follow suit. Whether they will remains to be seen. If they do not will we see orrific looking packs of cigarettes on sale in airports alongside bright and glitzy ones?
In the UK packs of cigarettes carry health warnings and images but do not go as far as those propsed for Australia. That country has taken a brave step which will cost the tobacoo companies and their investors dearly. In the end it will come down to money. That will be the overriding actor inh ow each country decides to package cigarettes.