Australia is in the lead once again, having decided that from now on, all cigarette packs should be identical in color, with only the name of the brand to identify them. They should also feature one disgusting picture, much like in Canada or elsewhere around the world, but bigger. Much like this image, here.
Of course, nothing is ever that simple. Australian tobacco companies claim that they should be given up to 14 months to make the change, because “that’s the time they need.”
Let’s set a couple of things straight. I’m quite conservative, trending strongly towards the libertarian, but not completely. My personal belief is that people are grown up and can do what they want, as long as it doesn’t infringe on their neighbors’ right to do exactly the same thing. I believe that smoking is terrible and a great killer, but that being said, if cigarettes are so bad, make them illegal outright, and let’s be done with it! I believe these half-measures are nothing but bullshit designed to appease those with a naturally guilty conscience, while avoiding dealing with more important issues.
All that being said, needing 14 months to change the packaging on cigarettes is even MORE bull excrement! All you need is a nice CMYK, high quality TIFF file, which I’m sure already exist, and send them to the printer. In a couple of weeks, a month at the most, the new labels are on. It might take a little longer for all the display cases in convenience stores, the letterhead and who knows what else, but the labels would be done.
Complying with this is not complicated. The reality is that if they drag it out 14 months longer, they’ve bought their industry that much more time to snare in new smokers, and seen from the other end, wrangled a 14 month extension on an industry that will soon, like many of its customers end up, be on life support.