From Hansard – Plain packaging edition

Senator Xenophon to move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that cheap cigarettes are currently being sold in Australia, reportedly as low as $13 for a packet of 25 cigarettes, following the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products; and
(b) calls on the Australian Government to:
(i) introduce a minimum floor price on cheap and/or cross-subsidised tobacco products to remove the cost differential,
(ii) recognise the value of preventative measures such as Quitline and the National Tobacco Campaign, and increase funding accordingly to maximise the effectiveness of these measures and campaigns, and
(iii) consider the financial burden being placed on retailers, particularly small business, as a result of plain packaging in respect of shop fit-out and higher insurance premiums, and whether this burden is consistent with the aims of plain packaging.

So not only has plain packaging lead to cheap cigarettes it is imposing financial burdens on small business too. At what point does the government ask whether this policy has achieved any benefit relative to the costs it is imposing.

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50 Responses to From Hansard – Plain packaging edition

  1. Infidel Tiger

    I’ll bet a carton of Stuyvo’s the Libs support the 8th Dwarf’s bill.

  2. Rabz

    notes that cheap cigarettes are currently being sold in Australia, reportedly as low as $13 for a packet of 25 cigarettes, following the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products

    Wow – did they all start wailing like banshees and self flagellating after hearing that?

    Because that’s how ridiculous this jihad on smokers is beginning to seem.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Has Sen Xenophon realised that repealing the plain packaging legislation would actually increase the average price of cigarettes? Thereby both inhibiting consumption and increasing the tax take?

    And that all he is doing by raising the minimum price is driving more smokers to illegal smuggled cigarettes, and ‘chop-chop’, thereby reducing tax revenue, failing to deter smoking and adding many more people to the criminal underworld?

    Probably the answer to my question is no. Sen Xenophon sadly is not of the same quality of his namesake.

  4. Gab

    notes that cheap cigarettes are currently being sold in Australia, reportedly as low as $13 for a packet of 25 cigarettes

    Where? Where?

  5. H B Bear

    The Xylophone – South Australia personified.

  6. johno

    Economics does not say that isolated government interference with the prices of only one commodity or a few commodities is unfair, bad, or unfeasible. It says that such interference produces results contrary to its purpose, that it makes conditions worse, not better, from the point of view of the government and those backing its interference.

    Ludwig von Mises

  7. .

    All those in favour of a minimum price on cigarettes & other smokes, raise your right hand…

  8. Tas

    Gab
    i’m with you ……… what brand and do they do menthol.

  9. Steve

    I am surprised that the tobacco companies are willing to drop prices to this extent. I assume the excise is ad valorem, in which case, the Government will need to set a floor otherwise it risks its legislation being defeated in the international courts. The tobacco companies could be playing a very high risk strategy here of taking a big short term hit on profits to defeat the legislation.

  10. .

    the Government will need to set a floor otherwise it risks its legislation being defeated in the international courts governing a free country

  11. Judith Sloan

    the excise is a fixed amount per stick.

  12. Steve

    “governing a free country”

    No, it will be the international courts that could strike down the legislation. It was the Government of Australia that inserted the provisions that said it could restrict trade on health grounds. The High Court in Australia said the legislation was okay, though, I suspect you may have disagreed with that decision.

  13. Joe

    A true libertarian would state:

    What right has the government to ban trade in any good?
    The health effects of smoke are well known. Ensure children are informed of them and then it’s an individuals choice. If parents want to prevent their children from smoking – well do so. Do not impose your will on other adults because you have no control over your children. For the rest think of it as “evolution in action”.

    If the government were serious about this issue, it would:
    1. Remove all bans, taxes, price controls, import restrictions on smoking related products.
    2. Remove free health for any person using or had used smoking related products (or drugs for that matter).

  14. Steve

    “the excise is a fixed amount per stick”

    It will be interesting to see how close prices get to it then. As per my comments in the other thread, I think the Government has lots of good answers to say that contraband won’t grow in Australia to the extent needed to defeat the legislation. Prices falling to this extent however, would be problem for arguing the reduction in smoking.

  15. Infidel Tiger

    As per my comments in the other thread, I think the Government has lots of good answers to say that contraband won’t grow in Australia to the extent needed to defeat the legislation.

    Are you retarded? Before I insult you, I’d like to know.

  16. History

    “The health effects of smoke are well known. Ensure children are informed of them….”

    We’re talking about zealots doing the “educating”. Moralizing zealots believe they own everything, including The Children™. In The Children™ do they see the opportunity to shape the next generation to their [deranged] thinking. It was also seen early last century:

    In America, children took pledges to not smoke. In Germany:
    “Proctor (1997) continues that “throughout this period, magazines like Genussgifte (Poisons of taste or habit), Auf der Wacht (On Guard), and Reine Luft (Pure air) published a regular drumbeat against this ‘insidious poison’ [tobacco], along with articles charting the unhealthful effects of alcohol, teenage dancing, cocaine, and other vices. Dozens of books and pamphlets denounced the ‘smoking slavery’ or ‘cultural degeneration’ feared from the growth of tobacco use. Tobacco was branded ‘the enemy of world peace’, and there was even talk of ‘tobacco terror’ and ‘tobacco capitalism’ …. The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls both published antismoking propaganda, and the Association for the Struggle against the Tobacco Danger organized counseling centers where the ‘tobacco ill’ could seek help” (p.456-457); “Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.””

  17. History

    Here’s an example of the current brainwashing job being done on children:

    In one school, the very word “cigarette” is verboten:
    http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/12/children_do_not_need_us_to_artificially_sanitize_the_world.html

  18. Steve

    “Are you retarded? Before I insult you, I’d like to know.”

    Go for it, but before you do, go back and read my comments. I think you are assuming that I think plain packaging is a good idea. My issue is with how the case is being argued.

    I think you are saying that regulation imports can never be effective. I think you are thinking that I am saying that such regulation is not costly. I am saying it can be effective with some direct but not exorbitant costs, such that the Government will be able to say that contraband will not defeat the supposed health benefits of the policy. You may disagree, but does that warrant a personal attack?

  19. Baldrick

    I can buy a packet of legal fags, at the moment, for $12.50 and they’re made in Luxembourg, of all places.

  20. Ubique

    Let’s expel SA from the Federation. While we’re at we should chuck out Tasmania as well. They can come back when they’ve learned to pay their own way.

  21. Steve

    “Let’s expel SA from the Federation. While we’re at we should chuck out Tasmania as well.”

    I would be in favour of dissolving the Federation.

  22. Ellen of Tasmania

    At what point does the government ask whether this policy has achieved any benefit relative to the costs it is imposing?

    Never. Wash your keyboard out with soap, Sinc; that’s not what governments do. How could you even suggest such a thing?

  23. thefrollickingmole

    Ill bang on about my own pet hobby horse here, vaping.
    I caught an interview on the ABC radio last week with an anti smoking jihadi who was justifying the ban on vaporisers as “big tobacco trickery”..

    So he basically admitted the vaporisers were more “healthy” than conventional cigarettes (apart from mumbling about unknown effects). But then in the same sentence wanted the nicotine versions banned completely “because”…?

    They are just weird people, moral perverts who get off on being “good” at others expense.

  24. Aristogeiton

    Baldrick
    #1352676, posted on June 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm
    I can buy a packet of legal fags, at the moment, for $12.50 and they’re made in Luxembourg, of all places.

    Yup. Meanwhile, Numbers links to the Kouk, trying to demonstrate that lower regionl sales volume in BAT’s annual report proves him right. Couldn’t be that they have lost market share? Their annual report says that profit is up from higher pricing.

  25. Aristogeiton

    thefrollickingmole
    #1352718, posted on June 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    Ill bang on about my own pet hobby horse here, vaping.
    I caught an interview on the ABC radio last week with an anti smoking jihadi who was justifying the ban on vaporisers as “big tobacco trickery”..

    So he basically admitted the vaporisers were more “healthy” than conventional cigarettes (apart from mumbling about unknown effects). But then in the same sentence wanted the nicotine versions banned completely “because”…?

    They are just weird people, moral perverts who get off on being “good” at others expense.

    I’m a vaper. My gear is from China. My juice is from a small company in the US. “Big Tobacco” are trying to enter the market. The market was created by others. The product is, on all present research, totally safe.

  26. .

    They are just weird people, moral perverts who get off on being “good” at others expense.

    Correct sir.

    I imagine mnay of them are eventually caught utrem usque by professional development year medical imaging journeymen/lasses.

  27. lotocoti

    What’s with the shout-out to Quitline and the other bunch?
    Is there any meaningful measure their success rate?

  28. Infidel Tiger

    Ill bang on about my own pet hobby horse here, vaping.
    I caught an interview on the ABC radio last week with an anti smoking jihadi who was justifying the ban on vaporisers as “big tobacco trickery”..

    Her name is Bittoun.

    She runs an anti-smoking clinic. Of course she doesn’t want people quitting on their own. She considers e-cigarettes worse to be on par with crack cocaine.

    Follow the money.

  29. Ms Dolittle

    I’m a vaper.

    I discovered “vaping” thanks to you guys. Never heard of it before. As a result of reading the last thread, I have ordered DrDo a kit. I haven’t smoked for 7 years, 4 days, 2 hours and 17 seconds and don’t miss it a bit. I gave up because I am vain, not for clean healthy lifestyle. I chew nics constantly, like cud, nauseating everybody around me. I no longer smoke in my dreams but can confess to being jealous of DrDo on a hot day, after gardening, with his icy beer and lung buster. When the kit arrives I’m going to give it a go.

  30. tom

    You’re a soulmate, Eliza. I love smoking. Old Holborn cigarette tobacco, to be precise. A gift of the gods. The richest, most flavoursome indulgence of my life. One of my mentors in a previous life (a Turkish theatre director from London) used to seek me out just to confiscate my pouch of Old Holborn and inhale the aroma deeply — after he had given up. It’s 5.5 years since my last and I can’t go back. But, my, how I’d love to.

  31. Slayer of Memes

    Given that good proportion of the “cheap” cigarettes are being sold on the black market (ie: illegal), or are being made as roll-you-own from chop-chop (also illegal), how does Sen Xenophon propose enforcing his proposed “minimum price” ciggies?

    Or is this just another example of Sen Xenophon and his knee-jerk “but we have to DO something” fart-bubble style policies?

  32. .

    Screw vaping, give me the cigarillos and pipe tobacco.

    What’s good pipe tobacco? Our Yankee friends think Borkum Riff is utter filth. You don’t get much choice in Australia though. Been thinking of mixing some Port Royal Rum flavored rollie stuff with plain Borkum Riff.

  33. faceache

    What about the financial burden on us nicotine addicts?

  34. AP

    I remember when I was young and stupid (about 15 yo) buying a pack of cigarettes with a friend. We chose Benson and Hedges “special filter” because we thought it would be milder or something. We knew nothing about the nicotine content of the different brand names and didn’t realise we were buying possibly the strongest smoke on the market. Anyway it was quite an experience. I still remember the head spins!

  35. MsDolittle

    Screw vaping, give me the cigarillos and pipe tobacco

    Speaking as the only female pipe smoker to attend Oaks Day this century I couldn’t agree moe. Out & proud!

  36. .

    Speaking as the only female pipe smoker to attend Oaks Day this century I couldn’t agree moe. Out & proud!

    Impressive.

    AP
    #1353036, posted on June 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm
    I remember when I was young and stupid (about 15 yo) buying a pack of cigarettes with a friend. We chose Benson and Hedges “special filter” because we thought it would be milder or something. We knew nothing about the nicotine content of the different brand names and didn’t realise we were buying possibly the strongest smoke on the market. Anyway it was quite an experience. I still remember the head spins!

    Bloody hell. You may as well have just gotten cigars! The strong cigarettes can blow your head off if you’re not used to smoking.

  37. MsDolittle

    We’ll there was a bit of Moët of course

  38. entropy

    Has Sen Xenophon realised that repealing the plain packaging legislation would actually increase the average price of cigarettes? Thereby both inhibiting consumption and increasing the tax take?

    And that all he is doing by raising the minimum price is driving more smokers to illegal smuggled cigarettes, and ‘chop-chop’, thereby reducing tax revenue, failing to deter smoking and adding many more people to the criminal underworld?

    You forgot one other thing a minimum price would do. Because it increases the average price of the death sticks, it also guarantees improved profits for big tobacco. Xenophon is their handmaiden!

  39. MsDolittle

    “they” say if you can manage to push through that first green, travel sick/hangover, sweaty nausea associated with a first durry, you will be good for a life sentence, equivalent to smack ,only worse as it’s legal, butt “they” are trying to stamp the illegal bit out, so all good there.

  40. Infidel Tiger

    Females shouldn’t smoke pipes, cigars or roll your owns. They should also extinguish any cigarette they are smoking a good 4cm from the filter. Anything else is unseemly.

  41. MsDolittle

    I remember when I was young and stupid (about 15 yo) buying a pack of cigarettes with a friend. We chose Benson and Hedges “special filter”

    There is your problem right there, everyone knows Styvos are the passport to smoking pleasure. Stuart Wagstaff get off it.

  42. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1353125, posted on June 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm
    [...]
    They should also extinguish any cigarette they are smoking a good 4cm from the filter. Anything else is unseemly.

    Any exception to this rule if using a cigarette holder?

  43. Tel

    Gentlemen, I would like to announce, with heavy heart, that our recent government intervention has failed.

    Therefore, it would seem that we are forced to accept the only option that remains open to remedy the situation: more government intervention.

    Who is with me?

  44. Infidel Tiger

    No. I’m quite doctrinaire.

  45. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1353138, posted on June 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    No. I’m quite doctrinaire.

    That’s what I love about you :)

  46. MsDolittle

    Smoking is not for the faint-hearted though – driving down Nepean Hwy and set fire to an acrylic nail. Really needed a fag after that, plastic drips when it’s warmish.

  47. MsDolittle

    Charles X a bourbon replaced by Louis-philippie of d’Orleans = bourbon & coke & Phillip Morris, perfect!

  48. MsDolittle

    Regardez-les! Regards impudents, Look at them! Impudent glances,
    Mine coquette! Fumant toutes Flirtatious looks! All smoking,
    Du bout des dents, la cigarette. At the end of their teeth, a cigarette.
    Dans l’air; nous suivons des yeux la fumée, In the air, we follow with our eyes the smoke,
    Qui vers les cieux monte, monte, parfumée. Which towards the sky, mounts, perfumed.
    Cela monte gentiment à la tête, tout doucement, It climbs gently to ones head, sweetly
    Cela vous mets l’âme en fête! It puts your soul on holiday!
    Le doux parler, le doux parler des amants, The sweet talk, the sweet talk of lovers,
    leurs transports et leurs serments, their gushing and their vows,
    C’est fumée, c’est fumée. it’s the smoke, it’s the smoke
    Dans l’air, etc. In the air, etc.
    La fumée qui monte en tournant vers les cieux, Smoke which mounts and turns towards the sky,
    La fumée! The smoke!

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