Would banning logos on cigarette packs reduce smoking rates?

Australia is considering legislation to remove all brand logos from cigarette packs, instead replacing the colorful designs with a graphic warning about the dangers of smoking. The brand name would appear in small print at the bottom of the cigarette pack. The Australian government is also raising the cigarette tax by 25 percent.

A mock-up of a cigarette package with the banding removed and graphic health warnings displayed. AP Photo/Dept. of Health and Ageing

A mock-up of a cigarette package with the banding removed and graphic health warnings displayed. AP Photo/Dept. of Health and Ageing

Health advocates support the move as another way to devalue individual brands of cigarettes and the act of smoking entirely, as well as making cigarettes less attractive to young people, who may choose a certain brand because it has a “hip” factor attached to it.

The tobacco industry has vowed to fight the legislation in court if it passes under a provision in Australia’s constitution regarding intellectual property rights. Those opposed to the legislation want to see evidence that plain packaging will deter people from smoking. Retailers say the tax hike will hurt their businesses and increase black market activity.

Do you think banning logos on cigarette packs is a good idea? Would you like to see similar legislation considered in the U.S.?

38 comments Add your comment

Rickster

April 29th, 2010
1:43 pm

The only thing this would do would be to decrease the cost of smoking. People would walk in and ask for the cheapest one. Soon, all ‘brands’ would cost the same.

Chances are, more people would smoke due to the lower price.

william

April 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

Who cares! We have free healthcare now. Smoke all you want. Roll your own. If something happens the nanny state will take care of you. AS Pelosi says,”Amerian people have the right to healthcare”. I mean you can still skii. Oh that kills people too not to mention the injuries.

Splavistic

April 29th, 2010
3:58 pm

William. Take your meds, man.

Haywood Jablome

April 29th, 2010
5:29 pm

william,
no amount of health care cures that lung cancer.

but thanks for the red herring rant. smoke’m up, douchebag.

DW

April 29th, 2010
5:30 pm

Rather than go through this mess, why not just ban the things outright? Enough already.

harleyrider1978

April 29th, 2010
6:32 pm

So,its apparent that australia doesnt have freedom of speech rights any longer………..that the government can and will limit and censor what ever they want……..well done nazis.

HM

April 29th, 2010
7:42 pm

Last I checked, tobacco was a LEGAL product, that one could consume, or nor, based on one’s personal decision, and one accepted its consequences. Jeepers, what’s next, carbonated beverages? We’re on the slippery slope, and it won’t be long untill we’re rolling downhill like a snowball headed for ….

Yobbo from the Bush

April 29th, 2010
9:34 pm

“Recent surveys indicate that brands may account for 50 to 70 per cent of the total value of a company . . . that means they can be worth billions of dollars.” – Stephen P Smith, Chairman, Superbrands

Whether you agree with the Governments move to regulate cigarette packaging or not, it’s an intelligent move to remove the “glamour” factor. McDonalds recruits kids from a young age through their branding, so that as an older person it’s familiar and exciting when you see their product. Cigarette companies do it too.

I absolutely agree with this move, only the font should be something real sh*#tty like comic sans or something like that further cheapening the product! :)

stine

April 29th, 2010
9:46 pm

I have a hard enough time finding Pall Mall non-filters as it is. How am I going to get them if I can only tell the clerk that “its the white package with black writing?”

Mel

April 29th, 2010
9:51 pm

I started smoking when I was 15. My best friend and I would go to parties, and we both took drags off our friends who had their own packets. Eventually, we would bring our own packets to parties. Now, we’re both daily smokers. We’re 17 and in year 12. Seriously, whether they keep raising the price, change the packets to a completely plain design, or both; neither will do anything to help me quit. Once you’re addicted, you’re addicted. And I doubt plain packages will keep people from taking up smoking. I never took one look at a packet until it got to the point where I went to buy my own cigarettes, after I asked someone what brand they had because it was my favourite to smoke out of any other cigarette I’d tried. Honestly, it comes down to the choice a person makes.

Yobbo from the Bush

April 30th, 2010
12:12 am

“And I doubt plain packages will keep people from taking up smoking” Mel what do you base this upon?

The billions of dollars cigarette companies spend upon targeted psychological marketing / demographic profiling and wrapping themselves up in sexy graphics would tend to disagree with you there.

Craig Spreha

April 30th, 2010
7:55 am

Only if we ban Logos on Fast Food, Cars, Alcohol, etc. They all kill just as many, yet only cigarettes get this type of scrutiny. Either let everyone sell and advertise products, or make the rules apply to EVERYTHING for sale.

Obama = New Hitler

April 30th, 2010
10:56 am

Just put Mrs. Obama’s smirking, hideous mug (or an image of her in a bikini shot) on cigarette packs sold here in Georgia, and that will almost eliminate smoking entirely….

….at least in areas of the State that are NORTH of I-20.

Results from several clinical studies suggest that such graphic & disturbing packaging may also help cure sex offenders.

Two Birds, One Stone.

DSM

April 30th, 2010
12:13 pm

let’s be honest here..how seriously are governments willing to ban smoking? What is going to replace the revenue from taxes? Yeah, it’s bad for you. So is drinking, driving fast, eating poorly, the list goes on. It’s a personal choice. You make not like it, but do you want a total stranger dictating what you can or cannot do? The more we advocate government interference, the deeper they will reach to control every aspect of your life. You don’t like smokers? Don’t associate with them.

Lori

April 30th, 2010
12:15 pm

Why not just ban smoking instead. Seems smarter to me. Why anyone would do something that causes that much harm to their bodies (and their families bodies – and don’t pretend smoking doesn’t affect your kids) is beyond me. Smoking is disgusting and stupid. I can only surmise that people who smoke must also be stupid.

Jay

April 30th, 2010
12:45 pm

For all the smokers here who keep screaming about ‘personal choice’, have you considered the people around you who don’t smoke and hate breathing your polluted, cancer-inducing air?

In addition, there are people here who adamantly insist packaging changes won’t cut incidences of people adopting smoking… If that really is the case, then who cares what the cigarette cartons look like?

This is a big win for improving the health of the wider community.

Lori

April 30th, 2010
1:00 pm

I saw a woman a few weeks back with a cigarette in one hand and a newborn infant in the other. Horrible!!!

Personal Responsibility

April 30th, 2010
1:26 pm

At this point everyone knows what smoking does to your health- its a personal choice. So why go thru regulating what the carton or pack looks like? I don’t smoke, but I don’t want the government saying what should be on a package. What’s next? Does McDonalds need to put big macs in plain white boxes and bags? What about alcohol? Just as addictive and damaging- do we make all beer bottles look the same?

Keep the smokers out of buildings and away from kids while doing their nasty habit. If they want to puff their life away let them do it. Personal choice comes with responsibility and consequences.

jarvis

April 30th, 2010
1:31 pm

No. It’s not the govenrment’s place to regulate packaging of any legal product.

Mintyfresh

April 30th, 2010
1:45 pm

kissing a smoker was like licking an ashtray-I don’t do it anymore–he’s DEAD

Simon

April 30th, 2010
1:52 pm

well after reading all that im off for a Smoke, from a Branded packet :-P

woodie

April 30th, 2010
2:11 pm

I oppose all forms of moral legislation. The moral majority/minority are much more hideous than all the smokers on the planet. Freedom is a precious thing to give away.

Jack

April 30th, 2010
3:02 pm

For all the smokers here who keep screaming about ‘personal choice’, have you considered the people around you who don’t smoke and hate breathing your polluted, cancer-inducing air?

In addition, there are people here who adamantly insist packaging changes won’t cut incidences of people adopting smoking… If that really is the case, then who cares what the cigarette cartons look like?”

I CANNOT smoke anywhere in public, so why don’t you leave whoever’s freaking house it is your at then Jay. You show me one place besides an over 21 bar where I can smoke inside. Jesus, some people will whine about anything and lie about it too because they don’t personally agree with something. How bout this, I don’t like whiney d-bags, can we ban those too?

moddyd

April 30th, 2010
4:39 pm

Republicans only hate the government when the Democrats are in control. Democrats only hate the government when Republicans are in control.

Smart A

April 30th, 2010
5:28 pm

Hey Jack – you stink, man. And that spearmint gum isn’t helping.

Dick

May 1st, 2010
7:16 am

I think it is time we also worry aboujt drinking and the alchol business. I had rather meet a person driving and smoking than I had one driving and drinking. Smokers are not the worse people in the world. People are also allergic to perfume, dogs, cats, so don’t label smokers as freaks.

AmVet

May 1st, 2010
9:52 am

I agree, smokers are not the worst people in the world.

Just some of the most selfish and disrespectful.

Finished with that butt? No problem just throw it out the window of your car. Anywhere, anytime. Hell go ahead and empty your overflowing ashtray anywhere you’d like! The earth is your big ashtray!

Feeling edgy? Light up! Anywhere anytime. Who gives a damn that your nasty smoke is drifting into the faces of children and innocent bystanders? Until Uncle Sam and others fortunately stepped in and said, “NO. Not here. Not on this plane, not in this place of business, not in this public venue.”

I guess these types of anti-social behavior are just the consequences of being addicted to the only legal product made, that when used as promoted can and will kill you.

Smoke up, Johnny…

Ren Nagata

May 1st, 2010
3:21 pm

so if we take all the logos off of everyones cars will it stop auto accidents?

vcatron

May 1st, 2010
10:07 pm

Removing corporate logos from tobacco products is interfering with a legal business and removes the identity built by that company. For those that want tobacco banned it will not work, all you have to do is look at probation of alcohol in the 1920s. If you want to keep kids from smoking enforce the laws on sale and possession of tobacco we already have. If you do not know the dangers you place on your health with smoking you deserve the “nanny state”. I quit cigarettes 30+ years ago and glad I did.

Kelsi

May 2nd, 2010
7:30 am

As far as the government is concerned, it’s all about taxes and how much they can collect. That’s all you need to know.

Atlanta woman

May 2nd, 2010
4:45 pm

TO Obama=New Hitler — You’re supposed to be posting about the subject – logos on cigarette packs – not cramming your scary politics down our throats.
(By the way, “North of I-20″?? You’re going to have to be a little clearer on your racism. I and hundreds of my friends in the city of Atlanta north of I-20 are fans of the Obamas.We have multiple degrees and high six figure incomes. Oh yeah, and we’re white and married with children. Don’t try to include us in your sick demographics!)

SteveSC

May 2nd, 2010
5:20 pm

Then we have to ban Pepsi and Coke logos…McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell. Sorry Ford…people die in cars. No more logos for you AND…Budweiser? Put your Clydesdales out to pasture for dog food. You see…..Obama will want to do anything to make things all the same. No more branding of things that are bad for you. Idiots……

Taylor

May 2nd, 2010
6:19 pm

Smoke all you want smokers! The taxes you pay help out everyone. Just don’t come near me with your cigarette smell

Thomas

May 3rd, 2010
2:34 am

The government should stop attempting to legislate “good decisions”. Let people smoke if thats what they want to do. Everyone knows the health consequences, if people still choose to smoke then let them kill themselves. Natural selection is how we evolved to this point and its the only we will continue to evolve.

Joseph

May 3rd, 2010
9:25 am

We should just ban everything that is bad for us: Chocolate, Coke, Cherry Pie. Instead we can all live in our proletarian communes and eat millet and soy!

JATL

May 3rd, 2010
11:34 am

Everyday I think I’ve heard the dumbest thing ever, and then another really dumb thing comes along. Everyone knows how bad smoking is for you -changing cigarette packaging isn’t going to change very much! Maybe if we started expecting and requiring more personal responsibility from people across the board then “treat ‘em all like a bunch of dumb cows” ideas like this one would go away forever.

Art Vandelay

May 3rd, 2010
5:53 pm

I’ve been smoking for about 20 years, and I would be in favor of this becoming law because there’s no doubt that I got started because characters like Joe Camel were routinely used to attract gullible teenagers (which I definitely was) to their death sticks. Now that I’m a full-fledged addict, I’d love to see the taxes go up another $10 per pack so I couldn’t afford to smoke even if I wanted to.

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP THE NEXT 15-YEAR-OLD KID FROM TAKING THAT FIRST DRAG!

Virginia

May 8th, 2010
10:42 pm

If taking off smoking logos off cigarette packs were enough, fewer folks would smoke. Stll,the magazines, billboards,grocery store circulars-Krogers especially-still advertise even if out tv’s don’t. A young,pregnant woman at the bus stop was smoking;she said she had a little boy at home. To me, smoking aroun\d your babies should almost be regarded as child abuse. If we remember the folks who died of cancer as a result of smoking,like Yul Bryner (who pleaded for smokers to quit),maybe we wouldn’t want to end up like them-dead. What does it take?