December 20th, 2015

Vox article about plain packaging for tobacco

It's a great, longish article about Australia's cigarette packaging law, which requires really startling photos of the health consequences of smoking to be plastered all over them -- no other branding allowed. It has been challenged repeatedly, but the government keeps successfully defending it, even at WTO when _Ukraine_ challenged it (Ukraine does not export tobacco to Australia -- they were fronting for corporates).

I recently had a great convo with a friend about what kinds of things work to discourage smoking, particularly among the under-aged. I had not known about this kind of packaging as a requirement (I knew that some smoking cessation strategies involve doing this to one's own packs of cigs), but am very interested in learning more about whether it could work here. It seems it might run up against free speech issues (you aren't allowed to make people say things, any more than you can stop people from saying stuff -- but even tho corps are people under the law, commercial speech has a lot more limits than other kinds of speech), but I sort of doubt it.