Tobacco Companies Lose to Common and Ethical Sense
There was a finality about it all, a sense that after half a century something was coming to an end. As David Anderson QC, one of “big tobacco’s” senior lawyers, put it, the battle against the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes had become the industry’s equivalent of Custer’s Last Stand, its “last battlefield”.
Legal hyperbole perhaps, but also an indication of just what the tobacco industry believed was at stake last week when the high court handed down its landmark judgment rejecting a coordinated attempt by the world’s four largest cigarette manufacturers to derail the new EU regulations that came into effect on Friday.
The new tobacco directive means graphic health warnings with photos, text and cessation information must cover 65% of the front and the back of cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco packs. Member states have 12 months to sell old stock, and up to four years to sell menthol and flavored cigarettes, which were banned outright.
The ruling was the full stop to a story that had its glamorous beginnings in the Mad Men era of the 1960s, when Hollywood made smoking fashionable, but which became ever darker as the tobacco industry connived to suppress evidence of the health risks posed by cigarettes, its role in smuggling its products around the world, how it routinely bribed governments and officials not to legislate against it and the way it identified developing countries as lucrative markets for exploitation.
This article explains how easy cigarette companies have been able to market to the youth of nations causing them to relinquish their healthy aspirations and turn them into smokers, suffering severe side effects and multiple health issues. The resulting ramification of smoking that leads to early, painful, miserable death. This is all in the interest of making more money for the corporate cigarette companies.
Surely our youth are smart enough now to recognise and understand the con we have all been subjected to for many decades. If carrying a trendy looking packet of cigarettes makes you feel empowered or grown up, we are hoping and expecting a boring bland packet will not attract as many youth to purchase these packs. Let us place faith that people are smart and will no longer be conned by corporate business marketing strategies.
This is the full and interesting article from The Guardian on How Big Tobacco lost its fight to market to our youth.
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