Monday, June 11, 2007

Yay for the government. I've never been able to understand why tobacco is treated differently to other recreational drugs. I'm not saying that everything should be legal but I do think that all drugs should be held to the same standards.

My current tobacco induced confusion is as follows:

In 2005 changes were made to the labels on packs of cigarettes to remove the amounts of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide contained in each cigarette. It was considered misleading because people would accosiate lower levels of those components with the cigarette being less harmful which, of course, they aren't. Descriptions such as 'light' and 'mild' are also no longer allowed.

It's annoying when customers come in and ask for Tarco 8s or Lungy Extreme Mild when these types of labels have been off the shelves for a long time. Just tell me the brand and the colour of the packet, okay dickhead. And no, I don't know what your wife smokes.

The real confusion, however, was triggered by some information received from the government this week regarding new fines for breaches of tobacco laws. One in particular stood out.

34—Information as to tar, nicotine etc content of cigarettes
(1) A person who sells cigarettes by retail must, on demand by a customer who is considering purchasing cigarettes, provide the customer with information as to the quantity of tar and carbon monoxide that will be produced, and the quantity of nicotine that will be released, in the normal course of smoking each cigarette.
Expiation fee: $315. Maximum penalty: $5 000.

(2) The information must be provided in writing in a form approved by the Minister.
Expiation fee: $105. Maximum penalty: $750.

Riiiiiiiight. So the labeling requirements are changed to remove this information from packs and it is now an offence to not provide this information to the customer. The Fuck?

Oh and it must be costly to collect all these new fines. Price of a tobacco licence last year was $12.90. This year $200.00, that's a 1450% increase. No wonder people think the government are cunts.

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