Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Children, You Say?

I'm sure you'll all remember how plain packaging was sold to governments as a way of stopping children from taking up smoking, right?

Well, that quickly morphed into deterring adults once the liars in the tobacco control industry had gotten their way, but they did always say that there was no threat to freedom of choice. In fact, it was often stated categorically that they had no intention whatsoever of interfering with the choices that smokers make!

Like everything else anti-smokers say, though, that was untrue as well. Consider this from News.com.au:
Mystery shoppers hired by Imperial Tobacco are sent to retailers with a very specific script. 
“I normally smoke Winfield 30s but I am looking for an alternative, what would you recommend instead of Winfield 30s?” the shoppers are instructed to ask, in a job summary seen by news.com.au. 
When asked how much they want to spend, the mystery shopper says “maybe something a little cheaper”. 
If asked about their preferred cigarette’s strength, the shopper replies: “I usually smoke the blue ones.” 
Then it’s over to the staff member who says the magic words and steers the “customer” towards John Player Special, a brand imported by Imperial. If the staff member does not mention any other brand, they score points towards the company’s incentive program. 
At this point, the mystery shopper identifies him or herself and informs the staff member that the results will be tallied at head office and prizes awarded to those with the top scores.
Note that this is a 'shopper' - an adult one at that - entering a shop with the express purpose of buying cigarettes. A current smoker, too, since there's a clue there when they say "I normally smoke Winfield 30s".

So what's the problem?
[Scott Walsberger, the head of tobacco control and prevention at Cancer Council NSW, said] “Every time we’ve brought in legislation, you see the tobacco industry push the envelope, continually trying to make their product attractive and market them as much as possible,” he said. 
“They’re always focused on selling more cigarettes, more people getting addicted and they go to all lengths to do that — so it’s not surprising that, as we tighten up regulations of how they market their products in some ways, that they’ve sought out the channels where they’re not regulated and exploit them to continue to promote their product.”
So, Scott, quick maths quiz for you. How many more cigarettes would be sold if a person who usually buys 30 cigarettes of one brand is guided into buying 30 cigarettes of another brand? Additionally, if one smoker enters a shop to buy cigarettes and the same one smoker exits the shop with a packet of cigarettes, how many more people have been "addicted"? You can use a calculator if it helps.
He called for new laws to better regulate how tobacco products are sold and marketed and made available through retail outlets, and rejected the argument that trade marketing only targeted customers who were already smokers. 
“They say they’re not marketing to new customers, just getting people to switch brands or building brand loyalty; we know that’s not true,” Mr Walsberger said.
Erm, Scott, all marketing is about brand share unless you're a vested interest knuckle-shuffler who fundamentally fails (deliberately) to understand the advertising industry.

Look, for argument's sake, let's pretend - as you do - that shiny packets are so alluring that they turn innocent and health-conscious people into automatons who simply must buy a packet of fags. Well, you haven't got those anymore in Australia so problem solved.

This case, however, is of a shopper who clearly states their intention to buy a pack of 30 cigarettes anyway and will walk out with a packet of 30 cigarettes, just maybe a different brand. How is the marketing not about brands; how is it "untrue". How is this marketing to new customers if the consumer has already decided to buy cigarettes?

Oh, I see, it's just another tobacco control industry lie, isn't it? You just can't fucking help yourselves.

As usual these days, it is left up to the tobacco industry to inject some honesty and integrity into the debate.
A spokesman for Imperial Tobacco Australia said the company sold a legal product and defended its trade marketing practices. 
“The program in question sees shoppers specifically identifying themselves as adult consumers of tobacco products who are seeking a brand recommendation from a retailer. 
“This clearly neither ‘circumvents legislation’ nor has any bearing on the choice of an adult to consume tobacco. It simply addresses which brand that adult consumer might choose.”
We're a long way from "protecting children from glitzy packets" here, aren't we?

The simple and unavoidable truth now is that the tobacco control charade is just one long and never-ending catalogue of lies. They lie when they wake up, they spend their day lying, and then they lie some more. Once they think they've done all the lying they are capable of for the day, they squeeze out a few more lies just for good measure. Then they go to sleep and dream about what lies they can tell the next day.

Here we see them not protecting children because no children are involved. They are also not protecting adults from starting to smoke because the buyer is already a smoker and intends to buy cigarettes. They are also not protecting people who want to quit smoking because the consumer has every intention of buying cigarettes. They are not encouraged to buy more, simply the same amount but of a different brand.

So, as we all know, this proves pretty convincingly that the tobacco control monstrosity - and their daft and pointless plain packaging makework exercise - is not, and never has been, about protecting kids, nor even about protecting adults. The only possible explanation for this fake fury is that they simply despise industry and hate the idea that smokers might be allowed to benefit from useful advice since there is none available due to the bans 'public health' has brought in.

It is mendacious bullying, nothing more, nothing less. They are the criminally-dishonest, we are the angelic truth-tellers.

It also shows that to be a tobacco controller you must act every day as if you are wearing shit-stained glasses and complain that everything stinks. Every one of them should be stuck on a spike somewhere very public pour encourager les autres. How the entirely disingenuous 'public health' racket still has the ear of governments is anyone's guess, perhaps one day - after a few more electoral surprises - politicians may work out that we've had enough of their shit. 



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