Appeasing antitobacco Fascism leads in only one direction. Tobacco giants have kowtowed to prohibitionists for many years. They tolerated and even encouraged all aspects of the smoker pogrom. Ever-encroaching bans on advertising their own products really did displease them, but as always, they went along. They wanted “good PR.” They wanted to show their respect for, to make friends with, antitobacco “authorities.”
Now the companies are shocked – shocked! – that their Public Health pals in Australia plan on banning cigarette advertising on cigarette packs: “Stripping the branding, colours and imagery" from the product itself. That will, evidently, make the black market the only place offering identifiable cigarettes. The black market is already the only place offering fair prices.
It’s a truism of doing business. You get what you bargain for. Governments the world over have similar aims regarding tobacco. Australia says it is “shattering the image of cigarettes as an ordinary consumer item.” Its subsidiary proclamation that this will “cost the taxpayer nothing” surely rings hollow to our ears, coming as it does from a government which taxes this product at a frankly sadistic level, but the ring is sharp to the ear of the industry. Big Tobacco’s appeasement of prohibitionists was always and, in the short term, successfully intended to deflect the costs of antismoking fanaticism onto tobacco’s consumers, i.e. onto its customers, meaning you. It’s true that plain packaging will cost consumers nothing (apart from plain confusion.) It hurts the companies.
Yes, in the end, you really do get what you’ve bargained for. We are told: “Other measures in the ‘make smoking history’ technical paper include increased taxes on tobacco [note the hollow ring we detected above], enlargements of health warnings to take up 90-100 per cent of cigarette packs, prohibitions on tobacco internet and point-of-sale promotions, and an end to industry’s ‘corporate responsibility’ donations.”
The last point aims to silence the companies’ free speech entirely. You lose what you don’t protect. That’s why these tobacco giants lost our trade long ago. They plan to fight the packaging restrictions tooth-and-nail, because these new restrictions cost them, directly and plenty. They’re fighting late in the game here and from a vastly weakened position of their own foolish choosing. They are depending on constitutional protections and international law, but these are as nothing, when it comes to global antitobacco fanaticism. Probably the companies will lose, if not in the first round, in the second or third. Good enough for them. Meanwhile government, through repeated actions in nations across the world, is making its own Hell by creating an ever-expanding black market.
Companies such as British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco, and the other biggies which go unmentioned in the linked article, are to varying degrees, but generally and without exception, as great enemies to smokers as are fanatical Public Health agencies or any of the openly anti-smoker activist groups.
What the big companies have long and idiotically bargained for is Hell for you, and by the way, their own eventual extinction. The death of Big Tobacco is something to root for. Tobacco is a weed you can grow in a pot. The path to restoration of sanity on the tobacco issue will be easier to follow once the industry giants fall to the side. Take care of yourself. Buy from fair dealers. Fight the war, into and beyond Prohibition, which is where the fanatically twisted path most likely leads from here.