May 17, 2011

Tobacco lobby’s plain-pack threat not based on reality

British American Tobacco’s long threatened campaign against plain packs kicked off today. Has there ever been a more complete demonstration of Shakespeare's "the lady doth protest too much"?

British American Tobacco’s long-threatened campaign against plain packs kicked off today. Has there ever been a more complete demonstration of Shakespeare’s “the lady doth protest too much”?


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21 thoughts on “Tobacco lobby’s plain-pack threat not based on reality

  1. simon.chapman

    Just informed that Malaysia recently introduced a floor or minimum price for tobacco, and here’s BAT blubbing about an associated 7.5% fall in demand

  2. Gavin Moodie

    I’m pleased to read that ordinary Australians are seeing thru BAT’s self interested rubbish.

  3. zut alors

    Mr Crow appears to be crowing too early with his threat. Even if the government lost a legal case they can still double (treble! quadruple!) the excise tax on tobacco. In fact, if they wanted to, they could ban it – with overwhelming majority support as 81% of the population are non-smokers. Mr Crow appears to have forgotten that the Australian government actually holds all the cards.

    Apart from that Mr Crow sounds like a charming bloke.

  4. Gavin Moodie

    Hi zut

    As a previous Crikey article demonstrated, the tobacco industry has a very weak to non existent case about loss of copyright, trade mark or other property right.

    However, the industry is presumably emboldened by Labor’s cave in to the miners, and another cave in is a worry.

    I expect the legislation will pass with the support of the Greens and at least some of the rural independents. But will the Coalition find a way of supporting big tobacco?

  5. zut alors


    If there was a referendum held next Saturday with the question ‘should tobacco be banned in Australia?’ I expect the result would be ‘yes’. Tobacco CEOs need to mull on that before they start throwing wild punches.

  6. Holden Back

    It all gave me the impression of swinging wildly, rather than throwing any ounch that might tell if it landed.

    I’m sure there are sock-puppets – both store-bought and home-made – personing the talk-back lines with the company line.

  7. Just Me

    “Guys, the days of managing volume with the current business model is probably not relevant anymore. We’ve got to manage the market, we’re got to manage this percentage of trading profit.”

    Translation: We can no longer convince more and more people to kill themselves slowly, just to enrich us. We can now only compete amongst ourselves to see which of us gets to kill the remaining ‘customers’ and how much profit margin can be squeezed out of their addiction.

    Sick puppies.

    Hope they and their shareholders go broke.

  8. zut alors

    Hey, Crikey, here’s a mission for Stephen Mayne: can we have a list of which superannuation funds invest in tobacco companies? It would make rivetting reading.

  9. Gavin Moodie

    I would oppose the prohibition of tobacco, just as I opposed the prohibition of alcohol and continue to oppose the prohibition of cannabis and many other recreational drugs.

  10. scottyea

    Well tobacco is a lucrative industry, made of corporations with shareholders. Industries and corporations form to make a profit. And it’s natural that corporate employees and captains of industry work to that end.
    On the other hand, the government has made hefty taxes from this trade over the years. Revenues.
    Then again, we have no-one to blame but ourselves if we buy them, blah, blah, blah.
    In a noble civilisation Government should protect the public from the predations of corporate institutional behaviour, i.e. exploitation. But it doesn’t; the idea is absurd.
    When did that happen? Was there ever a time? Can there be?

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