I'm reading Yahoo! news headlines this morning, and what do I see? Tobacco companies file lawsuit over warning labels courtesy of the wire (aka AP News).
Allegedly, RJ Reynolds and company want to sue the US Government for violating the First Amendment right of free speech.
The United States Government wants tobacco companies to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packets. These pictures include things like rotting teeth, tarred / black lungs, a "corpse with a sewed up chest". It is to discourage people from continually buying cigarettes. The thinking is, by putting scary advertisements on the packs, people will put the cigarette down.... all because "smoking kills".
The big wig tobacco companies want the government to stop enforcing this new mandate of pictures because people are going to smoke, whether the legislature steps in or not. People will find a way to get their fix, no matter what.
Britain has been using the pictures on their packets for years. People still smoke and buy just as much as ever. The exception being, one borough of England isn't significantly raising its prices over another borough for tax purposes (i.e. there are places in NY selling Marlboros for $15/pk, vs places in Cali are $10, vs MA selling for $8). When I was in Reading in 2009, Pall Malls were £4.75. Not bad, considering they were still $5 something in Massachusetts (only if you look at the price and not conversion... lol). Name brand smokes for under 5 bucks? AND it's 2009? I'm in! =D
I do think it's crazy though. Considering all the taxes the government is throwing on to buy a single pack, the pictures are the least of people's worries. I mean, 10 years ago, Mustang cigarettes were $3.30 a pack. That includes state and federal costs. A year and a half later, it rose to $4 a pack. Six months later, it was five. Now, this generic brand of smokes costs $7 a pack and Pall Malls are $6.19 (although it might have rose - 100s were $6.24 last month... but still). What the hell? Pall Malls are the new no name brands!? Makes no sense if you ask me. Actually, Cumby's is making dollars with the horses. Haha. But because of taxing cigarettes to get people to quit, the truth is not out there in keeping our money. Prices will continually be hiked until the people in office see that tobacco is not killing people, it's taxation that is making (wallet) suicides more common.
Give it a rest and let the people smoke, for petes sake.
Comment on me. Tell me what prices you've seen and where, and what you think!