Unfair dinkum?

A new Aussie law marks the imminent death of branding on cigarette packs – but will it bring the desired demise in sales?

Antipodean packs already bear ghastly images. You have to wonder if it will make much difference to remove what’s left of the branding. Meanwhile the tobacco companies complain it infringes their intellectual property rights protected by international law.

Given that habitual smokers can’t or won’t give up, and bury the risk in self-denial, this policy has to be aimed at the young.

When I was a teenager, we smoked to look cool. Smoking was edgy, dangerous. Now it’s even more dangerous. Cool.

While marketing eyes will be on this Aussie experiment, you can’t help feeling it’s a case of frittering around the edges. After all, if smoking really does kill you in the agonising manner illustrated, shouldn’t it just go the way of lead in paint and tartrazine in foods?  (Banned substances that rarely led to deaths.)