The fight to stop the tobacco industry’s dangerous hold on our country’s health is ever-changing and demands strong, comprehensive public policy change.
Smokers Believe Australia's Plain Packaging Law Changes Flavor
I came across a fascinating article in Wednesday's New York Times that I wanted to share with all of you. You might remember hearing that in December of last year a new law went into effect in Australia that banned brand logos from cigarettes packs and required large graphic images to cover the majority of the packs. Known as a plain packaging law, this restriction on tobacco companies' marketing capabilities is one of the toughest tobacco control laws in the world. The Times reported that while it's too soon to know the full impact of this historic law, when the law took effect Australian health officials almost immediately started receiving complaints from smokers that, despite no changes to the cigarettes themselves, they believed the flavor of cigarettes changed along with the packaging. This phenomenon shows the psychological impact that packaging and images on packs can have on making smoking unattractive to current users. The United States has plans in place to adopt its own large, graphic warning labels on all cigarette packs, as required by the 2009 law giving the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. While we were deeply disappointed with a federal court ruling in August that blocked implementation of the FDA's proposed graphic warning labels, we are encouraged that the FDA has indicated it will go back to the drawing board and develop labels that will be upheld in court. Updating the current warning labels, which haven't changed in 25 years, could encourage current smokers to quit and kids not to pick up the deadly habit. Once you read the article leave a comment and let me know what you think. *image courtesy of: www.ashaust.org.au