The argument for plain packaging on cigarettes and tobacco products rumbles on and on here in the UK. The government delayed a decision back in July on whether or not all cigarettes should be sold under plain packaging; many people think that it’s merely a delaying tactic as the UK government comes up with a way around the pressurised situation they are in. On one hand they are being pressured by the EU and health organisations to do all they can to discourage smoking and protect the young and on the other they are under pressure from the tobacco companies which are big business, big business that pump a lot of money into the UK economy in revenue and taxes, big businesses that have a lot of political clout. You could argue that Cameron and his pals are stuck in between a rock and a hard place on this issue!
Apparently our Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government, that no one actually voted into power, is waiting for the outcome of trials being held in Australia on packets that are almost plain unbranded and just carry health warnings before they make a decision whereas Labour, the opposition, saying that action is needed now and not another review.
Regardless which side the fence you are on here, the outcome is probably irrelevant. In my view the sale of cigarettes is nothing short of legal drug dealing on a massive scale. It doesn’t matter which political party happens to be in power now as all parties have taken part in this appalling situation over the decades and have stood by and watched these drugs be readily available and sold for profit to its very own people.
Cigarettes and tobacco are a massive health and safety problem; we know the damage they do to passive smokers that is why smoking in public buildings and work places was banned years ago in the UK and Europe. We know that smoking causes cancer and a whole manner of nasty diseases hence the reason to have warnings on the packets; my question is why aren’t they banned totally?
If we can legally sell these things to our fellow citizens and make a fortune in taxes for our government’s coffers then why are other substances like cannabis illegal? Millions if not billions of people around the world die or are suffering from illnesses directly related to smoking tobacco, none have ever died from using pure cannabis. It just doesn’t make sense does it?
I know I am not in a position to put the world to rights but it’s my view that any member of parliament in any government that condones the legal sale of tobacco products should be arrested and charged with dealing in a dangerous substance known to cause death. What makes our government and others around the world different from say the Columbian Cartel that trade in Cocaine or the Afghani war lords that trade Heroin?, all supply dangerous drugs knowingly and all make huge profits from the illicit trade.
The government is seen to be almost two faced when it comes to the sale of tobacco, they are happy to receive the revenue that this can generate (which could be construed as immoral earnings) and allow the tobacco companies to trade freely and even protect this revenue stream by not allowing any general member of the public to sell or produce tobacco without a license(something that would never be granted) but imagine what would happen if you or I decided to set up shop selling drugs or even tobacco, our doors would be off the hinges and our homes raided in no time at all….double standards!
Do we need plain packaging on our tobacco products?, I personally don’t think it will make a difference, it’s no coincidence that the majority of smokers are from the lower end of the social scale, surveys done over the years on this and other health issues have shown that the people who find themselves at this end of the social scale are less likely to be aware of health issues or less likely to be in a position to care.