Tobacco industry

Plain Packaging legal hiccup being claimed for something it isn’t

The anti-tobacco lobbyists, the ones who seek to ban, block, tax and attack tobacco at every instance, are claiming victory in a recent FTA dispute in Hong Kong.

The federal?government has won its case against tobacco giant Philip Morris Asia challenging Australia’s tobacco plain-packaging laws.

It means the former Gillard government’s plain-packaging laws, introduced in 2011,?will remain in place.

The tribunal in the arbitration, based in Singapore,?has issued a unanimous decision agreeing with Australia’s position that it has?no jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris’s claim.

Philip Morris has slammed the decision, saying it does not validate plain packaging in Australia or anywhere else. ? ? Read more »

Sam Lotu Iiga should take heed

Sam Lotu Iiga is the Minister responsible for looking at the plain packaging legislation in the house at the moment.

Quite apart from the fact that there is no need for it due to our no advertising and closed cupboards rules on tobacco sales he should take heed at what is happening in the UK.

Even taking the soft option and pandering to the Maori party by including a clause in?the?legislation pending the outcome of the WTO case is fraught with danger given what tobacco companies are lining up the UK government for.

Tobacco companies are preparing to launch what could be one of the biggest ever legal claims against the British Government for losses as a result of the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are expected to begin lodging papers at the High Court as early as Friday, seeking a multi-billion compensation payout for being stripped of the right to use instantly recognisable brands.

Lawyers will argue that forcing them to use entirely unbranded packaging would amount to deprivation of a highly valuable intellectual property.? Read more »

Plain packaging evidence shows sales increased in Australia despite opposite claims from troughers

The health busybodies will tell you that we need to implement plain packaging of cigarettes in order to reduce smoking.

They have no evidence to support this, other than their manufactured surveys.

Real world evidence however suggest the opposite occurs.

I am not a smoker nor do I hold any particular candle to the tobacco industry, but I am opposed to plain packaging on the basis that success here will embolden the busybodies to try similar tactics on other products and ingredients, like alcohol and sugar.

The evidence however is against plain packaging no matter how hard the health troughers say otherwise.

Tobacco companies have denied that plain-packaging laws contributed to a plunge in smoking.

Cigarette sales “actually increased” in the first year after plain packaging was introduced, a spokesman for Philip Morris said.

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey?recorded a decline in the smoking rate?that coincided with the introduction of plain packaging laws. Its report was released this week.

The smoking rate dropped from 15.1 per cent in 2010 to 12.8 per cent in 2013. Plain-packaging laws came into effect in December 2012.

Tobacco researchers say the figures are significant evidence that plain packaging works, and represent one of the great achievements in public health campaigning.

But Philip Morris Limited director of corporate affairs Chris Argent said any suggestion that plain packaging was responsible for the decline in smoking was “simply untrue”. ?? Read more »

Looks like the Aussie are going to repeal the plain packaging law

Oh dear, it looks like the Libs are going to have a crack at repealing the plain packaging laws that has landed Australian in a WTO court case.

On top of that they are also going to roll back other nanny state laws.

COALITION backbenchers want to repeal the tobacco plain packaging laws, warning that the policy reflects Labor?s ?addiction to nanny state policies? such as the alcopops tax and FuelWatch.

As public-health advocates yesterday debated industry figures showing a 0.3 per cent rise in tobacco sales under plain packaging, revealed in?The Australian, Liberal MP Alex Hawke likened the initia?tive to other ?nanny state? policies that Labor pursued, ?even when it appeared they wouldn?t work?.

?I think our policy should be evidence-based and where governments get the best bang for their buck; that is on individual responsibility, rather than big government,? Mr Hawke said. He said the tobacco policy had failed and it should ?absolutely? be revisited.

Queensland Nationals MP George? Christensen said this week that plain packaging signalled an ?inch-by-inch encroachment into our personal lives?. Read more »

They are coming for your food now with tobacco tactics

As I predicted the calls are growing for controlling food manufacturers like tobacco manufacturers…they are coming and they will use the same tactics.

Any food manufacturer who now thinks that plain packaging is only about tobacco really does have their head in?the?sand.

The food industry should be regulated like the tobacco industry as obesity poses a greater global health risk than cigarettes, say international groups.

Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation are calling for the adoption of more stringent rules.

These could include pictures on food packaging of damage caused by obesity, similar to those on cigarette packets.

The Food and Drink Federation said the food industry was working to make healthy options for consumers.

The two organisations – CI and WOF – said governments around the world should impose compulsory rules for the food and drink industry.

They said global deaths due to obesity and being overweight rose from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010. ? Read more »

I wonder if these sorts of cosy funding relationships exist here?

In the UK a?MP has called for an investigation into the “improper funding relationship” between Britain’s Department for Health and an anti-smoking lobby group.

Philip Davies MP made the demand after revelations that Department for Health?granted money to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which the group subsequently used to lobby for tobacco control measures under consideration by the department.

You just know that this is happening here…in fact most of the tobacco cessation lobby groups are funded, to the tune of millions of dollars each year, to assist people stopping smoking but are probably diverting fund to direct lobbying.

These organisations are coordinating and collaborating with each other.

Documentation obtained by?Breitbart London?shows that ASH ? a leading proponent of laws that would mandate standardised packaging of tobacco products as well as other rules intended to curb smoking ? applied for and received a section 64 grant from the Department of Health to pursue its ‘Capitalising on Smokefree’ project.

The grant application indicates on Page 4 (below) that UK taxpayer funds would help to achieve the objectives by enabling ASH to engage in “media advocacy and lobbying” and running “training sessions for new DH officials.” It also suggests that grant money would enable ASH to participate in consultations with and advise the Department of Health on tobacco-related policy.


The documentation seen by?Breitbart London?shows that a stated ‘specific, directly measurable outcome’ of the project’s success would include the “extent to which ASH recommendations are acted on by policy makers.” The decision to fund the lobbying project was made on March 4th 2008. Read more »

Where is the Dompost editorial outrage over political parties having bookies for candidates?

The Dompost editorial goes mental this morning attacking National and a candidate because they once worked for Philip Morris.

The job of being a tobacco lobbyist is not a respectable one. Big Tobacco kills 5000 New Zealanders a year.

Half its customers die as a result of using the product. Tobacco is an addictive substance that causes untold misery and death throughout the world. Those promoting the interests of Big Tobacco know all this, and yet choose to work for a genuinely evil force.

Astonishingly, the National Party has chosen a 23-year-old tobacco lobbyist as its candidate for the super- safe National seat of Southland. Todd Barclay seems rather conflicted about his eight months as corporate affairs PR for Philip Morris. On the one hand, he says, it was “just a job” and it “doesn’t define him”.

On the other, he doesn’t “condone” smoking and even seems to think he should acknowledge some of its ill- effects. “Everyone has been affected by someone with a long-term illness, so my greatest sympathies go out to them,” says the young politician.

This is not just a job, but a job that aids and abets an industry that kills. And this job does define him, because he presumably took it up voluntarily.

At the same time he doesn’t “condone” smoking and doesn’t smoke himself. Worst of all is his attempt to acknowledge the harm. Long-term illness is one thing, but death is another, and he didn’t mention it.

Excuse me if I don’t just throw up over their?sanctimony.

Tobacco companies sell a legal product, pay large amounts in taxation (more than $1.2 billion pa) and are entitled to employ people. For some reason the DomPost editorial writer thinks that no one should work for a tobacco company.

But isn’t it funny how they ignore the fact that anti-gambling Labour has selected a practising bookmaker as their candidate in Wairarapa, someone who regularly appears on television extolling the odds for gambling.

Arguably gambling has many more victims than smoking does, and the financial and emotional ruin of problem gambling is far worse than smoking…at ?least the cost to the state for caring for ill smokers is cover handsomely by large amounts of excise tax that far exceeds the costs.? Read more »

Not anti-smoking, anti-big tobacco

In an article about e-cigarettes you can see that the troughers and health busy-bodies involved in anti-smoking initiatives aren’t at all interested in health benefits, they are instead focussed on the big tobacco companies.

In New Zealand, scientists, doctors and public health workers are split on e-cigarettes. One half say we should steer clear of the latest addictive offering, lookalike cigarettes that keep smokers on a nicotine leash still held by Big Tobacco.

The other half say what the hell: if it helps people quit, why not go with it?? Read more »

Could the Noddies be signalling something bigger?

Labour?s noddies have again shown themselves to be complete tools.


In a desperate attempt to be seen to be meeting people, Noddies 1, 2 & 3 decided to pop into Paremoremo prison?to visit serial prisoner Arthur Taylor.

Kris Fa’afoi couldn’t find the time to go to the Police College for a graduation, preferring to have a BBQ with David Shearer, and bnow his priorities are to support criminals having a fag.

Read more »

Big Tobacco behind collecting signatures

Over the past couple of days I have blogged about the jobs being offered by Engage NZ on Seek and Trademe.?Initially?I thought the Greens were involved but they categorically denied any involvement and if you look at their history they are pretty up-front about their activism.

I posed the question as to who it could possibly be and why they required so much sneakiness.

Could it have been Colin Craig and his campaign against Marriage Equality..or someother anti group associated with that? Turns out no.

Perhaps?the?Exclusive Brethren involving themselves again? Again no.

Or perhaps a Tobacco company lobbying against plain packaging?

Well my investigations ahve confirmed that it is Big Tobacco who do not have the courage of their convictions to publicly declare it is their campaign.

The campaign is being run by Imperial Tobacco and assisted by Philip Morris.

The happy little workers on the generous package and bonus scheme have been hired to go around the country getting people to sign a petition against plain packaging.

It isn’t that sneaky though as the postcards they hand out are branded as British Imperial Tobacco. So if you’re standing outside a pub having a fag expect some starving student petitioner to come up and ask you for a signature.

I still wonder though why they couldn’t have been up front about the campaign and instead use phrases like:

?Applicants need to be 100% committed to the campaign and absolutely sure of availability. If you’re an energetic outgoing person who enjoys speaking to people, and think you can hold an intellectual conversation, then get in touch to find out more about this exciting project.

Quite how you can hold an intellectual conversation with ciggie chugging smokers in?the?cold outside pubs and clubs is beyond me. It smacks of sneaking a drag on a fag in the airline toilets or stealing a smoke out of the teachers line of sight behind the bike sheds.

The only question remaining now is how Ben Cumming finds the time to run campaigns for Big Tobacco when he is supposed to be the new General Manager for Hell Pizza…who ironically have a reputation now akin to that of a tobacco company.