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Quit renews calls for plain packaging on all tobacco products as new ACCC campaign begins

Monday 26 December, 2005

Quit has renewed its calls for plain packaging on all tobacco products, claiming tobacco companies are using cigarettes packs to create the deceitful illusion that some cigarettes are healthier than others. 

The call comes hot on the heels of a new $9 million dollar consumer awareness campaign advising of the health dangers of so-called 'light' and  mild' cigarettes.

Quit's Executive Director, Mr Todd Harper, warned that despite agreeing to remove the misleading terms  light' and  mild' from their packaging, the tobacco companies are still up to the same dirty tricks when it comes to marketing their products.

""Probably of most importance is the research on what people associate with different coloured packs.""

""Tobacco industry documents themselves state that red packs connote strong flavour, green packs connote coolness or menthol and white packs are suggestive of a low-tar cigarette, that is sanitary and safe.""

""Therefore what we are seeing is the tobacco industry using lighter colours on certain cigarettes packs to create the idea that these brands are more benign than other brands.""

Mr Harper also said the new words adopted by the tobacco industry to replace  light' and  mild', are aimed at lulling smokers into a false sense of security regarding the cigarettes they choose to smoke.

""New words like  smooth',  fresh' and  fine', describing the flavour of cigarettes, have already started appearing, and together with pack colours and imagery they continue to build on the deception that some cigarettes are safer than others.""

""The only way to prevent these sinister and aggressive marketing strategies is to force the tobacco industry to adopt plain packaging on all tobacco products.""

""The tobacco industry peddles a product that will eventually kill up to 2 out 3 lifetime users and under no circumstances should they be allowed to using evocative words, numbers or colours to forge fictitious ideas about the safety of cigarettes.""

Mr Harper said another way to curtail the ability of the tobacco industry to mislead consumers through clever packaging was to remove tobacco products from point of sale.

""To do all that we can to reduce the exposure of both children and adults to tobacco marketing, we must remove the tobacco products currently displayed at the point of sale, often in venues frequented by children.""

""Banning tobacco product displays is vital in reducing exposure to the new forms of tobacco marketing which use the pack designs as a cornerstone.""

""Bans of cigarette products at point of sale have already been introduced in Canada and similar legislation has passed in Iceland and Ireland. Quit now seeks the same provision here,"" said Mr Harper.

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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