EU proposes to ban branded cigarettes

This is an article on Advertising Age on the proposal to ban branding on cigarette packaging effectively turning all cigarettes into generic brands: http://adage.com/globalnews/article?article_id=147387

Personally, I think it wouldn’t be worth the trouble and money to move from where we are now straight to banning branded cigarettes.

It is true that packaging is like the “silent salesman”, but the most power it has is to persuade existing (cigarettes) customers to choose one brand over another. It is quite improbable that it will persuade someone who does not smoke into smoking.

I personally agree with the idea of removing cigarettes from display in all shops (mentioned at the end of the article) and believe that it is a highly reasonable move. Once the cigarettes are out of sight, then the next reasonable step is to ban branded cigarettes, as it can foster addiction through brand loyalty. But that should be a while after the first move of removing cigarettes from display has been in effect long enough to show positive results.

And I am wondering: by my putting a picture of cigarettes up on my blog, am I advertising cigarettes as a whole?

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3 comments

  1. Cato Gustavson · December 1, 2010

    Moving the cigarette packs away from sight has already been in effect in Norway (my home country) since last year. I believe the EU is using a strategy based on proposing something radical, only to be voted down. Then they can put together the real proposal that they really meant to put in place, this only to let the opposition believe they achieved something.

    As for the picture, I don’t think there is any reason to believe you are creating new smokers.

  2. Anne Palmer · March 9, 2011

    And then a ban on Beers and Wines being on show next then, and most certainly removed from off the shop floor where Shop-lifters may take them for free. Many, many people are harmed by drinking too much, and some, their lives ruined for the rest of their lives.

    You surely cannot ban cigarettes and leave alcohol alone?

    Then perhaps we should look at eating too many sweet things, etc.

    • oeilsj · March 9, 2011

      Thank you for your comment! I’d like to say that I can see your point and that there are always more than one side of the story. I have always felt the same about how marijuana is illegal in most countries, while cigarrettes aren’t. And now that cigarrettes are being banned, we can perhaps move on to asking about alcohol, and then sugar, etc. I must say I don’t know what the best solution is for this subject, but maybe we can look at this as a good thing. If some of us can’t control our consumption of these harmful products, maybe the government is doing us a favor.

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