Smokers nonplussed by plain packets

The consensus is that the pictures are horrible, but the sales of plain-packaged cigarettes haven’t slowed at all, according to Timmer’s Store manager Michael Timmer.

The olive green packets, featuring photos of cancerous mouths, damaged lungs, bleeding brains, blind eyes, and even dying premature babies, are now mandatory.

Mr Timmer said the packets are definitely too graphic and don’t seem to be serving their purpose anyway.

“I think they definitely go a bit far. Especially if they are left lying around the house where kids can see them...it’s not good.”

Mr Timmer understands the message that the government is trying to send but he sees only one option forward, if smoking is to be properly eradicated.

“It’s simple, they (cigarette companies) need to just stop making them. That’s the only option I can see.”

But Mr Timmer does concede that the photos must be making some people stop and think twice.

“People have definitely noticed them, they must stop and make you think, but sales haven’t slowed at all.”

Retired sheep farmer, Richard Glover, is a long-time smoker. He believes the photos on the packets are disturbing, but it hasn’t stopped him buying them.

“I don’t really know anyone that has suddenly stopped smoking because of the photos,” he told the Tribune.

“I think the photos go too far, I think they are unnecessarily graphic.”

Richard also believes if someone wants to take up smoking, they will take up smoking, the colour of the packet, or what is on the packet, won’t change anything.

“If someone has their mind set on it, I think they will still smoke. The photos or the plain packets won’t stop them.”

A 25-year old Yass smoker, who chose to remain anonymous, agreed with Mr Glover’s point of view.

“The thing is that people don’t care what’s on the packet,” he said.

“People don’t smoke the packet they smoke what’s in them.”

There are also a number of other laws affecting smokers that came into effect on January 7.

Smoking is now banned in NSW within 10 metres of children’s play equipment, public swimming pools, spectator areas at sports grounds, public transport stops and platforms, and within four metres of a pedestrian access point to any public building. Fines of up to $550 can be incurred.

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