GONE is the allure of sophisticated, care-free smoking as new laws on plain packaged cigarettes comes into effect today.
The new legislation includes the prohibition of brand imagery and promotional text on tobacco products and packaging.
All cigarettes in Australia will now be sold in olive green packaging with confrontational health warnings covering about 75% of the package.
Reports that plain packaged cigarettes taste different have been rejected by tobacco companies and have highlighted the power of branding.
Imperial Tobacco Australia, which makes Peter Stuyvesant, Davidoff, Horizon and Camel, was reported stating the company had "not changed any of our tobacco products".
The national government has rejected the notion that plain packaging increases handling time.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek yesterday said that the Gillard Government would not allow tobacco companies to use retailers as pawns in their fight against plain packaging.
"The government has had complaints from retailers that one of the large tobacco manufacturers is not accepting the return of non-compliant stock," Ms Plibersek said.
"Instances of potential non-compliance will be considered on a case by case basis and there are a range of measures that can be used. But there will be an emphasis on education in the first instance."
A local perspective
IN HER role as a service station attendant, Amber Britton will become familiar selling plain packaged cigarettes.
"I haven't had to unpack them yet but it is very hard to find which packet you're after when they're all green packets," she said.
Ms Britton believes the product is different.
"I don't think a lot of people will continue smoking. Just for the fact that I'm a smoker and I think they taste different," she said.
"I don't know why."
- Unattractive packets
- More health warnings
- Reports of tasting different and increased handling time
Debra Louise Dawes: I think it's good, but I don't think it will stop people from smoking. It is an addiction. I was a smoker and I know how hard it is to stop. I had no choice. I did it for my baby.
Nicky Gourley: I don't think it will make any difference. I'm not a smoker but as a comparison I love chocolate. If they started putting photos of morbidly obese people on the packaging it would not deter me from still eating it.
Tamara Seiler: My partner smokes and he told me that it will honestly make no difference to the amount he smokes.
Stephen Snell: What I have found so far is it slows the purchasing process as the person behind counter has to read the packet to ensure customer is getting what they want. And I am a non-smoker
Jenn Russell: I'm a smoker and I don't even notice the pictures on the packs. I know the risk involved in smoking and it's my choice to smoke. Don't like it too bad! I don't tell anyone else what to do or not to do in their lives!
Julie-Anne Schulz: Makes no difference to me at all with the flavour or packaging colour. Even the pictures don't bother me! Nice try Roxon!
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