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Understanding the Packaging Debate

Kyle Newton January 9, 2013 News & Politics No Comments

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When it comes to cigarettes one of the biggest debates that has sprung in recent years is that of the packaging that cigarettes come in. To understand the debate and how it could have an effect on you here is a breakdown of the controversy.

The primary idea of the debate is that by altering the packaging of cigarettes people will be less tempted to buy them. The people who support this idea can’t, however, seem to agree on just how the packaging should be changed. On one side of the spectrum you have people who support graphic packaging. The idea of graphic packaging is that by putting graphic images that depict what cigarettes can do to the human body people will not want to smoke them. The problem is that many people find these images offensive, regardless of whether or not the person looking at them is a smoker.

On the other side of the spectrum you have people who are proponents of plain cigarette packaging. The idea is that plain packaging would have a simple indicator as to what brand the person is purchasing and nothing else. The reason people like this idea is because it is simultaneously inoffensive while removing the actual advertising that many seem to think is what tempts people to smoke to begin with. The criticism that these have received is that they do nothing to shake smokers out of apathy or indifference towards smoking.

In between these two arguing groups are smokers and the tobacco companies. The argument is being made that if either of these packaging styles is adopted in the US that it could infringe upon the rights of these companies. Many also argue that the warnings already placed on cigarette packs are sufficient and evident enough. The argument continues to rage on and almost no side seems to have the answers yet.

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