Smoking Myths (SFA) - 2011

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In 2009, SFA came up with a series of 10 alleged myths which were, in large part, were demonstrated to not be myths.

In 2011 they came up with 7 more alleged myths[pdf][archive] largely based around plain packaging:

  1. There is no evidence plain packs will work
  2. Tobacco smuggling will increase because plain packs are easily counterfeited
  3. Plain packs will cause confusion and extra costs for small businesses
  4. There is no public support for plain packs
  5. Plain packaging will breach intellectual property rights leading to compensation claims
  6. Tobacco is going to be put out of sight so we don't need plain packs
  7. It may be tobacco today but other consumer products will follow

There is no evidence plain packs will work

SFA claim that there is

A large body of evidence demonstrates plain packaging would be effective.

Unfortunately most, if not all, of the research they rely on is badly done and some of that research they use for one set of their claims debunks their other claims - they fail to mention the latter of course.

They also choose to ignore those more robust studies that fail to show what they claim, or actively dispute it.

Tobacco smuggling will increase because plain packs are easily counterfeited

TODO

Plain packs will cause confusion and extra costs for small businesses

TODO

There is no public support for plain packs

TODO

Plain packaging will breach intellectual property rights leading to compensation claims

TODO

Tobacco is going to be put out of sight so we don't need plain packs

TODO

It may be tobacco today but other consumer products will follow

SFA then go to waffle on about how tobacco is so different to anything else, similar things won't happen elsewhere:

Tobacco is not like any other product, it is the only legal consumer product on the market which is lethal when used as intended. That is why the UK and over 170 other governments have signed up to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which places legal obligations on governments to strictly regulate tobacco products. Plain packs for tobacco will not therefore set a precedent for other consumer products

There's a whole page of measures, lobbying, hectoring etc that follow The Tobacco Template, up to and including plain packaging.