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Philip Morris fights Australian cigarette package rules

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If the tobacco companies must put grisly images of cancerous mouths, sickly children and bulging, blinded eyes on their products, then following that logic, the alcoholic beverages companies must put grisly images of drunk driving accident victims on their products, no?

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I'm a non-smoker and am all for smoke free public places, but I think these new rules forcing the tobacco companies to put these grisly images on their cigarette packs is going a bit far, and it's not fair that other companies that make potentially dangerous products like alcoholic beverages are not subject to these new rules.

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Moderator: Readers, comparisons with alcohol are not relevant to this particular discussion.

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Given that smoking does cause disease and illness l think that it is more than reasonable for people to be informed about the risks. If that means pictures on packets then its a small price to pay.

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I agree Serrano. I would also like to know how the original Phil Morris died of.

I also respect the brand issue and the logos. Even though cigs stink and give me asthma attacks, it is still a free business enterprise.

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Watch out Australia you have a dictatorship, and you cant even tell> Dont worry though the polls say nobody likes Gillard much anymore, even the Greens who are the only reason she is leading the country at the moment. She must be snorting some pretty high stuff to think she even knows what is right from wrong. Probably an overdose on CO2. Or maybe O2,bwhahahaha....... And dont go comparing alcohol to cigarretes now, you should be comparing to the natural ecological type smokers didnchaknow! Alcohol does not come from plants, neither does tobacco. They havent told Australians yet that Darwin didnt really like Australia when he saw it,bwahahaha.......

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Serrano,

I'm a non-smoker and am all for smoke free public places, but I think these new rules forcing the tobacco companies to put these grisly images on their cigarette packs is going a bit far, and it's not fair that other companies that make potentially dangerous products like alcoholic beverages are not subject to these new rules.

The issue isnt the grisly images. They have been on the packaging for many years, the issue is the removal of company colors and logos on the packaging. Personally the images are not a bad thing....

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They should just ban tobacco.

The companies should be able to win regarding the blocking of their trademarks though.

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MrDog,

They will never ban tobacco because they make to much money from taxes from the sales

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They will never ban tobacco because they make to much money from taxes from the sales

Yeah, I know. But, if they are going to go childish and put scary pictures on the boxes, just ban them. If they don't want people to smoke, they shouldn't want the taxes paid by people buying the product.

Either keep the taxes, and let everything stay as it is (no alterations to packets); or lose the taxes and ban tobacco outright.

What they are doing now is just taking the moral high-ground while profiting.

If they really wanted to improve peoples health, they'd ban tobacco.

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MrDog,

I completely agree with your last statement. It is a bit hypocritical of the government, they have had for some years these pictures on the packets and cartons, they have banned smoking inside all public buildings, and some outdoor areas. They even talked about banning smoking in cars if there where kids in them (not sure if that came in or not). Yet they dont take the next step and ban it all together, why? Because they get too much money from it.

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@Spidapig24

Yet they dont take the next step and ban it all together, why? Because they get too much money from it.

That's why they should either put up, or shut up.

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Wow... seriously weird from Australia... the PM sounds like a bozo

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I am non-smoker, but I am almost tempted to take up smoking just to protest these stupid nanny-state rules.

Just how dumb does the Australian government think its people are?

And if cigarettes are really as deadly as they suggest, they should ban them outright. And not come up with one idiotic rule after another for a legal product.

Sheesh.

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The grisly images would probably make cigs even more appealing to teens.

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This is absurd.

If Australia feels so strongly about the dangers of smoking they should just go ahead and outlaw the damn things.

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“Our government is determined to take every step we can to reduce the harm by tobacco,” Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

"every step"?

The you're going to ban tobacco then, right?

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If you are going to be so aggressive in making the product undesirable then do the right thing and make them illegal. Clearly they think cigarettes are a social ill so why not ban them? It's far more honest.

I'm not a smoker, but if this is how Australia approaches a problem then I am glad I don't live there.

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heh the smoking issue just seems to make national people do stupid things. Like smoke. Or spend time putting warnings on packages when governments could be doing something more productive.

Why not just ban them? Gradually raise the price, set up some kind of fund to help workers transition to different jobs, etc. If they lose tax money I'm sure they'll save money in the end since their healthcare system won't have to pay for the cost of smoking.

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SmorkianJun. 27, 2011 - 08:16PM JST

If you are going to be so aggressive in making the product undesirable then do the right thing and make them illegal. Clearly they think cigarettes are a social ill so why not ban them? It's far more honest.

I'm not a smoker, but if this is how Australia approaches a problem then I am glad I don't live there.

WHy would they make it illegal, all that does is drive it underground. Are you familiar with prohabition??? It is much easier to control something by keeping it legal and keeping a tight leash on things.... But as for your suggestion of making it illegal lm glad you dont run the country as l would hate to live in a totalitarian state!!!

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WHy would they make it illegal, all that does is drive it underground. Are you familiar with prohabition???

No, I'm not. Is it like prohibition? ;)

Let it go underground. It would stop the stink, and maybe smokers would be more hygienic too.

I'm an ex-smoker, and I can't believe how much smokers stink and are seemingly unaware.

Anyway, ban it, force it underground, heavily fine anyone found smoking. At least that could be said to be "tak(ing) every step (they) can to reduce the harm by tobacco". Not the half-asses way they are doing now.

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MrDog,

I actually agree with SuperLib, rather than just ban it outright do these steps and do it gradually that way the impact initially isnt as harsh in terms of law enforcement, jobs etc...

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When will JAPAN ever learn from more advanced countries like our brothers down under? I HATE SMOKE and smokers, well STINK! May the gods bless AUSTRALIA!

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Australia and NZ are aware of the Health costs of tobacco, and have passed laws and increased Taxes to try to decrease the cost to society. The ultimate goal is to make smoking socially unacceptable. Is that OK? Both countries have national Heath care and thus a vested interest in the Heath of it's citizens, a government that actually does care, imagine that!

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Most Aussies just buy the tobacco and paper and roll their own. It is way cheaper and there aren't any boxes to look at! I for one, am not spending my money on buying brand ciggies in Oz! Just rolling like my grandad did, who happened to have started smoking at age 12 and died at 85 of old age!

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Do not under estimate what Phillip Morris would do in Australia. It took years for them to admit before US Congress the cigarette smoking cause a lung cancer.

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I think a skull and crossbones is enough without being too graphic.

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Makiminato good idea.

Aside from all that, I think it would be ok to have the images on the packaging but its completely out of hand to require the tobbacco companies to remove their Logos or brand names.

I despise smoking as well (including the wacky tobbaccy) since I should not be getting the residue of someone elses habits in my natural method (and quite neccessary) of breathing what oxygen I can get on non polluted days.

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I have noticed one big positive change in Japan this time when I was there. Less people smoke in public. A negative change is more red meat menue is served in restaurant. I found more Japanese love to eat a big thick juicy steak!

Japanese need to be careful when US businesses are pushing their products to your throat including soft drinks, cigarette, beef and so on. Americans diet and life habits are changing here in US. They are a result of oversupply in US.

We do not smoke; we do not eat red meat; we skip soft drinks loaded with lots of sugar.

We want to stay thin and healthy like Japanese.

These companies need to find the market elsewhere outside US. Phillipine is dealing witha big problem with teenagers smoking One pack a day. This is FYI.

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Elbuda - Japan IS learning. Many outside areas are now non-smoking. They are reducing the number of smoking cars in long-haul trains. Many restaurants are forced to completely close off the smoking areas so that non-smokers don't get the smoke. Companies that prohibit smoking in their offices are on the rise. Companies that prohibit smoking in the entire office building are rising in number.

We live in a different culture in a different part of the world; to follow other cultures patterns is not always reasonable. Countries and cultures need to evolve in their own special way.

I am thankful to see that the restaurants I go to are expanding their no-smoking sections even a little bit at a time, and that in general, the amount of smoke in the air whilst walking around Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc. has dramatically decreased.

Way to go Japan!

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TheBigRiceBowl,

Yeh Japan is learning they are only about 10 years behind Australia in terms of smoking laws.....

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20 years I would say

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I don't even smoke and I am pulling for Morris.

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Pulling for Morris? LOL, whatever does it for you. Bet you are smoking after.

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It is always a sensitive topic, faggs are everywhere, and are to be (rightfully respected). Some may say that this dress code suppresses their flamboyance, but putting them in your mouth is a free choice. Maybe stripping them of their bright and alluring packaging might deter some from sucking on a tube of death.

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@Cricky: As long as nicotine is addictive thats not going to happen. MJ doesn't have bright and colorful packaging (if any since its not quite legal in some areas) nor is it as addictive as a cig and yet still more people smoke away at it.

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Smoking rates have declined substantially in Both Aust and NZ, due to Government regulations and it is no secret the plan is to ban in the future. It is addictive which is why you can not display or advertise these products and the packaging is disgusting. It is a preventable illness and is being treated as such.¥1500/¥2000 a pack really has to make you think about giving up too.

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MJ is a different issue.

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wow if i want a cancer stick i should be able to buy them without pictures of cancer filled lungs. as an adult i already know the risk.

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Actually, if I were a cigarette company, I would have some fun with it and have even more gruesome images all over the pack. I bet the posters would sell well. All this fiddling with the packs is a waste of time and money, though. The info about tobacco, once hidden, is now out there. Smokers will buy cigarettes no matter what the boxes look like. Those who choose to quit won't do it because of the boxes, either. Enough fiddling with this...on to other things.

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