Australian legislation mandating tobacco products are sold in plain packaging today passed the last hurdle today with plain packaging becoming a reality by December 2012. Some had misgivings, some disagree that plain packaging will be an effective deterrent; while some believe it will be counter-productive, while others take a different view.
In 1984 Philip Morris created the Marlboro Adventure team to promote their flagship cigarette. DOC (Doctors Ought to Car), an international organization of health professionals, was founded to counteract the promotion of tobacco advertising. In 1993 as an effort to undermine the Marlboro Adventure Team US debut the DOC repainted a VW van as the Barfmobile, hired a handsome comedian [pdf] as Barf Man, printed thousands of Barfboro Barf Bags (imprinted with the words "DOES CIGARETTE ADVERTISING MAKE YOU SICK? US TOO!"), and created the Barfboro Barfing Team. [more inside]
"For the first time on record, the rate of new cancer cases and the cancer death rate are both falling in America. There appear to be several reasons why this is happening, but perhaps the most important is also the simplest: Over the past several decades, men started smoking less." But is obesity the tobacco of the 21st century? Well, Hollywood has tobacco's back. How to lower smoking rates? Taxing cigarettes is the single-most effective way to lower smoking rates, particularly among youth. Check out the correlation on this map.
Smoke if you got 'em. Today is the Great American Smokeout, a time to reflect on how great people look when smoking, and the terrible things (NSFW) the additives do to you.
Harvard professor Allan Brandt has a book out, The Cigarette Century, detailing the rise of the cigarette in 20th century America and its continuing spread worldwide. Excerpted here, reviewed here. The same title was used on a very similar work in American Heritage magazine in 1992 that is also worth a look.
The Australian cigarette health warnings have pretty much filtered down to every retail packet that's bought now. They're pretty gruesome and some smoking acquaintances cover them up with stickers. I thought I'd have a look around and see what other countries warnings were like. None of them were pulling any punches except for Uruguay.
Physicians and scientists around the world even go as far as to state that smoking leads to premature death. Don’t we all know someone who smokes constantly, even heavily, yet is still living — or has lived — to the mature age of eighty, ninety, and older? Furthermore, the MDs and PhDs state that smoking causes cancer and emphysema. If this diagnosis were definitive, wouldn’t these afflictions affect all smokers equally, rather than the small percentage that it actually does affect?