Jun 6, 2014

Oz exclusive: Big Tobacco-funded research hates plain packaging

Christian Kerr has insisted that plain packaging is not curbing Australians' cigarette habit in this morning's Australian. Where do the numbers come from? It's there that things get interesting ...

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

Plain packaging has failed, according to The Australian's front-page exclusive this morning, but what is the evidence for the so-called failure, and who found and paid for the data? Reporter Christian Kerr pins his argument that Labor's "nanny state" legislation has "backfired" on a minute figure -- a rise in the sale of individual cigarettes by 0.3% or 59 million cigarettes in 2013 as compared with 2012. Australians smoke 21 billion cigarettes annually, including individual smokes and their "roll your own" equivalents, and the Oz cites the industry figures, editorialising that "it is no surprise 59 million additional cigarettes were sold in Australia last year".

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24 thoughts on “Oz exclusive: Big Tobacco-funded research hates plain packaging

  1. The Pav

    Why is The Australian telling lies to the detriment of the health of Australians?

    Perhaps it should change its title to The Anti-Australian.

    They are betraying the nation

  2. Steve777

    How do we know plain packaging works? Big Tobacco hates it.

    I wonder when the Abbott Government will reverse its support for plain packaging?

  3. iOz

    It might be worth noting, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that the population of Australia was 22,785,500 in September 2012, and 23,235,800 in September 2013, and increase of 1.02%. If cigarette “sales” have gone up 0.3%, then the rate of consumption per head of population is actually dropping.

  4. Michael

    The ABS says our population increased by 1.8% in y/e June 2013. At that rate, a 0.3% increase in absolute sales would suggest a fall in average consumption. If the only change in that period is plain packaging, not sure how it is a ‘failure’.

  5. Michael

    Great minds and all that, iOz…

  6. Wexford

    Damn, iOz, I came to the comments to specifically post what you just did. Except ABS actually shows that the population increase from June 2012 to June 2013 was in fact 1.8%![email protected]/Products/3218.0~2012-13~Main+Features~Main+Features?OpenDocument

  7. The Pav


    The Oz maths capacity explains their support of Hockey.

    Simple arithmetic is beyond him as well

  8. Ian Roberts

    I don’t understand why anybody shells out money to read Murdoch’s drivel and lies – a manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome perhaps.

  9. Electric Lardyland

    Does a newspaper that seems to have virtually no connection to reality, still deserve to be called a newspaper? And is there a correct term for such a beast?
    I mean, increasingly, it’s only function seems to be to pander to arrogant ideologues, who think that the ability to unthinkingly regurgitate partisan and inaccurate confections, is somehow a sign of superior intellect.

  10. blindphoton

    Once again the government’s cheer-squad shows it complete disdain for facts in another desperate attempt to get the budget off the front pages.

    It’s the overall smoking rate and rate of recruitment of new smokers thats important, and both continue to decline.

    Kerr and his libertarian ilk are as disgusting as the budget – it’s wonderful that this crummy rag is in decline.

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