Australia is upping the ante in the war on smoking. Previously we saw how some countries have put disgusting pictures on cigarette packages to discourage smoking. Now, Australia is set to require “ugly packaging” where companies are prevented from putting their logos on cigarettes and must use the least attractive color found in government research for smokers: dark green. (For the record, dark green is my favorite color and this move is likely to push me toward smoking).
Health Minister Nicola Roxon says she wants all cigarette packaging to be olive green. In addition, “health warnings and graphic pictures depicting the dangers of smoking would take up 90 per cent of the front of packs, and 75 per cent of the back.”
I have always found these measures excessive, even though I do not like smoking. If smoking is legal, I fail to see why non-smokers should force smokers to carry around such packaging that borders on majoritarian harassment in my view. We can certainly have a good-faith debate on banning tobacco, but, if it is to continue to be legal, these measures strike me a marginally useful and pretty obnoxious.