Alcopop

The Australian Editorial on Plain Packaging

The Australian editorial is harsh over plain packaging and outlines similar tactics taken by our own politicians in attacking tobacco, alcohol and sugar.

LIKE most Australians on the cusp of 50, we’d like to see young smokers, in particular, do their health and their wallets a favour and kick the habit. Better still, savvy teenagers would be smart not to take it up. Cigarettes are a $20 a packet ticket to serious illness. And those who puff away their working days off site undermine their careers.

But influencing public behaviour, especially that of young people, is complex. Ask any parent or teacher how far they get with hectoring. That point clearly escaped former health minister Nicola Roxon, who introduced plain (a euphemism for hideous) cigarette packaging in late 2012.

However disappointing, it is no surprise 59 million additional cigarettes were sold in Australia last year, the first full year of ugly packaging, according to industry figures. While sales of expensive brands fell, presumably because they have lost their cachet, sales of cheap brands soared. Perhaps nannies are hazy about markets.   Read more »

Weed, alcohol and tobacco – One of these things is not like the others

Here in New Zealand we have the health jihadists attempting get a plain packaging law on tobacco through parliament. Contemporaneously other health jihadists are trying to apply the same logic to products that contain sugar.

California is moving already to force warning labels on soft drinks…and has one of the most restrictive anti-smoking regimes in the world.

Australia has forced plain packaging of tobacco and is now being sued for the pleasure.

The UK is attempting to ram through plain packaging legislation at the same time.

We also have a ban on advertising, and have removed all displays from stores.

Which is all very incongruent when you look at two other products.

Alcohol and Cannabis.

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Plain packaging call for Coca-Cola now in NZ

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I have spoken many times about this, directly to producers and suppliers as well. I have told them that even though they hate tobacco and tobacco companies, they need to join in the fight against plain packaging because if they don’t they will be next.

Things are moving pretty fast on them now…and there are calls for plain packaging on products containing sugar now. This shows how emboldened the health jihadists have become and they believe that despite the legislation still before the house they can and will start lobbying against “Big Sugar”.

An unflattering report into the soaring rate of obesity around the world has sparked debate over whether sugary foods should have plain packaging in New Zealand.

The report, which analysed data from 188 countries, revealed that the proportion of men classified as obese in this country has increased more than anywhere else – rising from 13% to 28% between 1980 and 2013.

The overall proportion of New Zealand adults considered overweight or obese rose from 50% to 66% – an estimated 2.2 million people, including 960,000 who were obese.

The statistics have sparked debate on whether plain packaging for sugary food products should be introduced, like that being argued for tobacco products.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast, Auckland University marketing expert Dr Mike Lee says plain packaging for sugary drinks could come into play over the next ten years.

The proposal for plain packaging for tobacco products has caused an uproar with concerns it could spill over into fast food and alcohol products, says Mr Lee.

“There is the worry from companies that we are going to become more and more of a nanny state,” he told the programme.

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Focus coming on RTD manufacturers

Cody's, the preferred drink of weed smoking 9yo maori kids in Hamilton

Cody’s, the preferred drink of weed smoking 9yo maori kids in Hamilton

Today the Herald on Sunday editorial and Kerre McIvor launch into RTD manufacturers.

First up the editorial:

The legislation may need to be revisited to ensure its intentions are clear. Though no parental permission appears to have been given for the supply of alcohol in this instance, the law allowing liquor to be given with parental permission to teenagers below the legal purchasing age may need to include an absolute minimum age for alcohol consumption.

And the sale of canned RTD mixes should be reconsidered too. They are purposely designed for young drinkers. When the law was revised a year ago, the industry was told to voluntarily control these drinks or face regulation. It has set a maximum alcohol content for the cans and banned advertising that appeals to minors.

But sweet drinks in cans will always entice the young. It is time they were banned. Beer, wine, and spirits have a natural child barrier: children by and large do not like them. But potent cocktails are a different proposition for those who are not ready to drink.

The industry says RTDs are giving way to cider among younger adults. It should encourage that trend and phase out RTDs entirely. What better reason does it need than the images of a 9-year-old wasted at a skate park?

That image ought to haunt the liquor industry and legislators for a long time. The video went worldwide and the image may have an impact far beyond New Zealand. The boy, meanwhile, needs help. The police and family services must ensure he receives it.   Read more »

Bans Pending for Cheeky RTDs

It’s not looking like RTD pushers Lewis Gyde and his gone-to-ground business partner Adrian Creamer are going to have a very good Christmas as they steer down the barrel of a ban on their youth focused RTD.

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Lewis has now resorted to telling porkies to TV3 last night, as he tried explaining that they’re not being targeted at underage youngsters when he said;  Read more »

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Bright Idea for Independent Liquor?

Isn’t this just dandy. Some clown thinks it’s a great idea to flog off RTDs in a sachet. Let’s see how that works out for them.

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Sachets of alcohol designed to be slipped discreetly into purses and pockets are being sold in liquor stores, alarming police and alcohol-watch groups.

Branded as “Cheeky” and “Sneaky”, the shots are easily concealed, palm-sized alcopops promoted as drinks to carry all the time.

Already banned by some retailers in Britain, they are the cheapest single drink on sale, at just $2.

Looking more like a condom, these 20% alcohol RTDs are being pushed as a new way to score with the ladies. Even their Facebook page is happily promoting them to young girls.  Read more »

70% of girls aged 14-17 tuck into RTDs

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The weekends should be relaxing. But this weekend there will be crisis meetings at Independent Liquor as booze boss Julian Davidson and his highly paid spin merchant Mark Unsworth try to figure out how to counter this alarming figure.

Anti booze troughers Alcohol Healthwatch and Women’s Health Action have banged out a report saying that women are binge drinking like the blokes.  Read more »

Kiwiblog calls for label changes to RTDs

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Whoops, looks like Independent Liquor’s sponsored travel blogger David Farrar support for calorie labels for alcohol may have just cost his sponsor hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs.

His comment “I know I drink far less now, knowing how much weight you put on with a few beers or wines” very conveniently forgets to mention his sponsor’s lolly water alcopops or RTDs for short.

But while ‘forgetting’ about RTDs, Farrar’s eagerness and support for a new labelling regime for alcohol products to reveal how many kilojoules each drink contains, will end up forcing significant new costs onto his beloved sponsor by way of labelling and expensive testing regimes.  Read more »

RTDs targeting of kids in the Government Crosshairs, Ctd

Via the tip-line

The biggest RTD producer by far in NZ is Independent Liquor. Clearly they have no shame in running promotions targeting kids.

Another WO fan has sent this in after reading about their Whipped Cupcake RTDs, wondering what’s next after Cruiser and Cindy’s finished getting the whole world in her cans.

The latest trend seems to be to spike spirits with tobacco “flavours and scents”. The question will be whether Independent Liquor will leap on this, and start pump out a tobacco flavoured RTD to their customers in South Auckland? Just imagine the howls of outrage from not only groups like Alcohol Healthwatch or the Drug Foundation, but also the anti-tobacco troughers.  Read more »

RTDs targeting of kids in Government crosshairs, Ctd

Yesterday I blogged about  RTD manufacturer Independent Liquor ‘targeting’ young females with their promotion/sponsorship of Cleo (Vodka) CRUISER Bachelor of the Year.

Even the NZ Drug Foundation got in on the act, with their tweet.

What’s the bet, troughers like Alcohol Healthwatch will use this example of suspicious marketing behaviour towards youth in overseas conferences, poster presentations, or call for Councils to do something about these marketing tactics.  Read more »