Smokers left gagging by not-so-plain cigarette packets

TOOWOOMBA'S smokers have been left gagging as new not-so-plain cigarette packets start to filter into stores.

A packet of Winfield Blues is no longer the colour its name would suggest - instead a sickly looking olive green sets the ailing backdrop for photos of health-plagued smokers in various states of decay.

The new packets, which use the same font for any brand or type of cigarette, will be the only legal packaging available from December onwards.

An example of plain packaging.
An example of plain packaging. Kevin Farmer

Free Choice Tobacconist owner Robert Anderson said his Hooper Centre store had already sold most of its old, colourful stock.

If any old packets are still in circulation when December arrives, representatives from tobacco companies will buy them back from stockists.

He believed smokers would not take the decision lightly.

"I think the new packets are obscene, but that's what the government wants," he said.

"If they think it's going to stop people from smoking cigarettes, they've got another think coming.

"It's the worst thing they could do if they want the votes of the smoking public . . . another nail in the government's coffin."

Mr Anderson said he was not worried about any negative impact on his business.

He said it would only help sales of certain smoking accessories.

"The general public feeling is that it's a fair dinkum joke," he said.

"I think the sale of cigarette cases (to cover the disturbing images) will really come to the fore."

Will plain packaging reduce the number of people who smoke?

This poll ended on 26 November 2012.

Yes - 21%

No - 78%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Smoking issue:

Our Facebook friends decide whether plain packaging will reduce smoking:

  • From someone who used to (not proud I did) they only person that is going to make anyone stop smoking is themselves.- Tahnee Winning
  • I am a smoker and the pictures are just disgusting to look at, they do not deter me at all maybe a bit embarrassing pulling out the packed in public but a cigarette case can fix that.- Rebecca Larsen
  • People will still smoke regardless of what's on the packages and ads they show on TV.- David McAnally
  • Someone told me this the other day, and I reckon it could potentially work. Anyone who smokes should be disqualified from making health insurance claims which are based on any smoking caused injuries. - Will Wood
  • I smoke the cigarettes, not the packet. Change it all you like, still going to smoke till I choose to give up.- Alex Slyderink

Topics:  cigarette plain packaging

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