Japan Tobacco feels UK has decided on plain packets


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Hmmm... One wonders what would be said if it were a British tobacco company challenging Japanese legislation.

Somehow I think it would be a very different story; no consultation process for one, and certainly a lot of rhetoric about "if you want to do business in Japan, you must abide by Japanese legislation" or words to that effect.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Plain packaging would have a HUGE effect, otherwise the tobacco companies wouldn't be so set against it now, would they. People are massively influenced by appearance and aesthetics - why is so much money spent on developing ads and packaging otherwise? Once the pretty pictures and cool designs are gone, all that's left is the name, and the tar/nicotine %s. And the price. Then let people decide what to buy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yeah, Japan is so far behind the rest of the anti-smoking world is not funny, I guess Japan tobacco and the j-gov are too closely connected to make any changes. The 'designer cigerrettes' in Japan are ridiculous! Especially the ones targeting young women and the herbivor boys. It is criminal! They are legally peddling poison! Zero advertising, zero logos and zero displays in shops. They should be sold from under the counter. Good luck with your case in Oz JT. I'm sure you have the money, but the Aussies are not gonna budge mate. They have zero tolerance for any of Japan's apathetic pleas.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's an avenue to death, not cool. Can you market less harmful illicit drugs? The problem is the government holds 50% of the shares conflict of interest at it's finest! They make money, with the health system in the state it's in, they continue to make money...paying for the privilege to go tobacco Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And this is going to stop people from smoking how exactly? Oh well I don't really care too much anyway cos I gave up years ago.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I think the balance in the UK is just about right - you can't smoke in any indoor public place, there's no tobacco advertising on TV and extremely high taxes are levied on cigarettes. The smoker is still at liberty to indulge his habit if he so wishes, as should be his right in a free society. Non-smokers are protected from the harmful effects of tobacco. I'm not sure why the government should be interfering with the packaging or what it hopes to gain from it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Supermarkets over a certain floor area are to have the cigs behind shutters, thus removing them from plain view. Not sure when this is meant to kick in, but I think it's this year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Plain packets with typed lettering? More fake cigarettes to flood the market?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Almost all the supermarkets and shops in my town now have the cigarettes hidden behind shutters (with exception of small family owned shops). You also need to be 18 to buy them - was 16 a few years back. When I was at school I bought cigarettes from age 14 easily and when I couldn't it was easy enough to wait outside the shop and ask someone going in to buy them for you -which they usually did. Now people caught doing that risk a massive fine, along with the shop selling them.

I never have trouble buying alcohol but am always ID'd buying cigs for my dad and I'm 30 now! I honestly don't think the plain packs are a bad idea and I can see the cigarette companies crying over the impact it will probably have on their sales. Am just glad those horrible billboards and posters are banned over here. Smoking isn't cool or sexy in any way!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ruining the brand and the marketing will have a serious effect on sales. JT is going to lose money. Banning advertising and images in retail stores has had a definite effect on a decline of new smokers. This will also reduce the cigarette buying experience for existing smokers for sure.

They should replace the plain wrapper with pictures of mouths with gigantic cancerous lesions, black lungs, cancer patients, brown fingers etc...etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's a reason the cigarette companies are against the measure - they are afraid of losing money. This is all hopefully part of an overall trend against smoking in Japan.

For me, the time when Japan outlaws public smoking can't come soon enough. My Japanese female friend recently got a job in a hostess bar. She loves the work but had to quit after developing a terrible bronchial condition from the second hand smoke she had to endure. And recently I had to leave my seat - outdoors! - at my local Starbucks because I was absolutely surrounded by smokers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Awwww.... let's all shed a tear for Japan Tobacco.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Medvedev already elaborated on it quite eloquently: why on earth should i.e. European legislation body care about opinions of a Japanese company?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So Japan won't be able to sell posters overseas of beautiful women exhaling peach flavoured pixie dust or extremely well built and muscular men smoking while they work out? I guess JT is starting to realize the days of 1950's tobacco ads are over? I still remember seeing one only three or four years ago hear showing a woman smoking menthol an exhaling as though it made her throat clearer!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I love this bit. “There are worrying indicators that the Department of Health has decided to introduce plain packaging,” How can positive health legislation be a worry! I have the habbit and the addiction and tried many times to give up this filthy habbit, I wish it wasnt so easy and acceptable to smoke 40 years ago, perhaps my mental problem wouldn't have been so easly taken advantage of. It seems hippo critical of JP GOV to ban illicit drugs leagal highs and not tobacco. My regret JT dosent flog opium:)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wish Japan would find Britain's reasonable approach. So many restaurants and izakaya that I will not step into now for the smoke. First step: have a "Smoking Permitted, Enter at Your Risk" signs on all establishments. Non-smoking should be a given. Wishing. I spent a very pleasant evening last night at a non-smoking sake place in Shimbashi last night. What a relief. Will go there again. Probably not allowed to name the place here, but you can Google it at

1 ( +2 / -1 )


More fake cigarettes to flood the market?

What do you mean?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Maria, I think he/she means that if all cigarettes are sold in plai, unbranded packages then it will be much easier for counterfeiters to flourish.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But why would counterfeiters be bothering with tobacco? There are enough legal companies doing that. This isn't 1970s Soviet Russia... I don't get it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maria, counterfeit cigarettes don't attract tax. They can be sold much cheaper. The problem with these cigarettes is that they are much worse quality and contain many toxins not found in the regular product.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

just a statistic here since the ban on smoking in public places and bars, young people have generally started smoking more, not less

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sorry Maria, that's what I meant as ADK99 and SwissToni pointed out.

Counterfeiters already go to great lengths to produce splendid packets that look like the real thing, but the stuff they pass off as tobacco can be far worse than the regular tobacco. Not everyone can counterfeit like that, just as counterfeiting currency notes is not an easy job. Cigarettes are so expensive now and smuggling so prevalent that young people can and do buy cheap rubbish tobacco without knowing it.

If the packets are plain from now on, how much easier will it be for people wanting to make money out of the illegal production and smuggling to jump on the bandwagon and join in the fun, if the box can be faked so easily.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How interesting! But does this counterfeiting really go on in the UK too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maria, last I read, about 15-20% of the tabs sold in Blighty are hooky or illegal imports from the continent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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