Those of you who read my post about swimming pool fence laws here in Queensland will know that I’m not keen on some of the nanny state laws here in Australia. Well, a new nanny law kicks in on December 1 this year, and this one has really got me in two minds.
Because I really love this idea, but the downside is, it’s just so wrong!
Australia: world leaders in….
The fight against smoking.
Most governments seem committed to reducing the number of people who smoke in their countries, but sometimes you wonder how serious they are about it, considering the amount of tax revenue smoking generates for them.
But the Australian Government’s commitment to curbing the smoking habit cannot be questioned. They have set a target of 10% or fewer smokers for 2018 and they are doing whatever they can to achieve it.
The latest move, which is called “plain packaging”, confused me at first. I had a vision of white cigarette packets in my head and couldn’t really see the point.
But it’s not that, it’s this…
How uncool are those cigarette packets!
As much as I love the idea, it is wrong. I don’t smoke, gave up years ago and I would always encourage anybody else to give up. Smoking does kill, but it isn’t illegal. So why does the government think it is okay to force the cigarette manufacturers to abandon their own branding?
Will I be drinking my beer out of a plain black tinnie with just a photograph of a man with a big beer gut on it?
Will I be getting my coffee out of a plain brown jar with the image of a restless, irritable, shaky insomniac on the front?
If this one gets through, who knows what will be targeted next. The words slippery and slope spring to mind.
The Australian Government believes that the rest of the world will soon be following this initiative. They won’t be if the Australian Government gets bashed for a few billion dollars compensation by the tobacco giants with deep pockets and a lot to lose if this goes ahead.
At its very heart, this is a freedom of speech issue, one which the Australian Government might well lose.
I’ll leave the last word to the great Leonard Cohen…..