Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Shape of Things to Come

The government has announced that from some time in 2012 all shops selling tobacco produces will have to hide them from plain sight. This is what it will look like. Imagine some cheerful cheeky young teenager coming into a shop near you and desiring what ever it is hidden behind the doors. He/she is going to be fooled by the doors in to imagining cigarettes don't exist? The hardened smoker, poor addicted sod is going to be put of asking for his favourite brand just because they are behind closed doors? Sure it will work Mr Cameron or just be a pain in the neck for the shop keeper?

The photo wasn't taken in some local shop that has jumped the gun but in a town called Wynyard which you all know is in North West Tasmania. In Australia all shops except tobacconists have to have these doors covering the ciggies, hiding them from possibly tempted eyes and lungs. In the spirit of good jornalisiam I asked two or three shopkeepers what the effect of hiding the tobacco so wonderfully well was having regarding sales. None, was the answer in all of the shops. In one shop the lady behind the counter explained that she had opened the sliding door to serve a customer and failed to shut it as there was a bit of a rush on. Now she has been served with a notice to explain why her cigarettes were not hidden from view at all times after a customer complained to whoever it is you complain to in these matters.

If you look at the photo closely you can see the names of all the brands on sale listed on one of the doors. Defeats the object of the exercise somewhat. Also the Australian government increased the price of cigarettes by about 30% and that hasn't had any effect in reducing the number of cigarettes sold. Personally I believe the best way to reduce the number of smokers is to prevent people smoking in the first place. Get volunteers, people who have smoked for years and are clearly seriously effected by their addiction and send them into every school in the country several times a year. Maybe that will scare young children into never starting when the watch adults cough their lungs up or when climbing stairs have to stop every few steps to get enough oxygen into their lungs to continue. Covering up ciggies in shops hasn't worked in Australia and isn't going to work here.


Cabbie J said...

Smoking is in steady decline anyway. Given the amount of tax generated by tobacco sales, it would be foolish to repress smoking too quickly.

Ramping up tax on tobacco is just a blatant ploy by the government to milk the public out of as much tax as possible - just like the fuel tax increases. People who smoke will smoke, car drivers will continue to drive - increasing tax will only minimize either by a small level, and force those who continue to smoke/drive to pay more.

Whilst it would be desirable for the population to NOT smoke, smoking is in steady decline and is being seen more as unglamourous. I wouldn't be too concerned about smoking, it will be gone in a matter of a few decades.

Cabbie J said...

Bad news from the United States

We're lucky our roads are built to a considerably higher degree than that