Sunday, 13 November 2011
I'm not sure this hasn't already been covered in the legislation but as it's been reported it's going to be mandatory plain packaging, and the defence the Commonwealth government intend to use against the tobacco industry's accusation that their trademarks have been appropriated and that under Australia's constitution they should be compensated is that the trademarks have not been actually been taken, they just can't be used on cigarette packets. I'm no lawyer but we all know that the number of places the industry can use its trademarks has been diminishing and I feel that at some point you have to concede that effectively they've been taken from them, but in the meantime I wonder if there's anything to stop the trademarks being used on the cigarettes themselves. Most cigarettes have always had their makers' names on so it doesn't seem to unrealistic to use the whole cigarette. Maybe whatever ink ends up being used on the paper to do this would actually make cigarettes slightly more harmful for their users, I have no idea, but on Planet Smokophobia the alleged health benefits from the plain packets would surely offset any harm done by fully branding the cigarettes themselves instead. No, I know that makes no sense, but when we're talking tobacco legislation is that even necessary any more?
Getting around Australia's plain tobacco packaging law #1
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