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The Cigarette Packaging Argument

Kyle Newton July 6, 2012 News & Politics No Comments

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No matter what way you slice it there is one thing that many anti-smoking advocates agree on: they want cigarette packs to be as unappealing to smokers as possible. The only problem is that anti-smoking groups just can’t seem to agree on what they want the packaging to look like. On one side of the argument you have anti-smoking advocates who want there to be big, flashy graphic pictures that depict what smoking does to the human body. Then on the other side you have the advocates who just want cigarettes to be put in plain white packaging so that they are in no way eye catching. Here are some reasons why both sides make no sense and may ultimately have little impact.

Let’s start with graphic warning labels. It would be unfair to say that the places that do have graphic warning labels are not seeing much improvement. In fact, cigarette sales are down in those areas. But it is a victory for them that needs to be taken in with tempered reason as the lower sales could simply be out of initial shock. The fact is that if you were to put warning labels on fast food containers that showed pictures of what eating fast food everyday can do you would see an initial decrease in sales, but people tend to become quickly desensitized to things of that nature. After all, people thought twice about buying cigarettes when surgeon general’s warnings were first put on them and people continued to buy.

As for the argument for blank packs of cigarettes, that would cause great confusion for shop owners who have to keep track of the different brands and types to the point that you would end up with a lot of dissatisfied customers. It simply would not make sense and seems like, if implemented, it would only be a weird social experiment.

 

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