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Blowing smoke

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, December 2nd, 2014 - 31 comments
Categories: David Farrar, Dirty Politics, dpf, Tobacco - Tags: ,

You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging – he posts on it frequently. His latest quotes Australian research which the Melbourne Age describes as pushed by the smoking lobby. The post also  links to and misrepresents the views of New Zealand researchers.

Here’s what Farrar says about the New Zealand research

Also even Otago University seems very doubtful on whether plain packaging will reduce smoking rates. In a blog post here, four researchers put plain packaging in a category of “Uncertain but possible” impact for achieving the NZ smokefree goal.

Here’s what the researchers actually said:

We also suggest that of the state-of-the-art interventions detailed, plain packaging at least should also be implemented in the light of the very promising findings about its impact in Australia (see this blog post), and its advanced stage in NZ’s legislative process.

According to the Age, “a co-ordinated assault just ahead of the review of plain packaging laws is emerging, with the Australian Retailers Association on Wednesday also labelling the laws a “waste of retailer’s time and resources”. Looks to me like Farrar has been co-ordinated into the assault – would be good to know if he or Curiablog was also being paid for it.

31 comments on “Blowing smoke ”

  1. rawshark-yeshe 1

    not too far to look to find smoke rings … farrar trying to play big boys’ games …


    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Follow the money. These corrupt Tories will do anything for a buck.

    • David H 1.2

      Maybe they need to sue these ‘nay sayers’ as well as the Tobacco companies. If their own money is at stake then they will think more about what they are saying, instead of just repeating Bullshit.

  2. Chooky 2

    Maybe David Farrar is now a paid John Key Nact ‘scientist’?

  3. fambo 3

    I noticed at my parents’ place last night that Farrar and Slater had run of the roost on one of the radio stations at the prime time of 6pm last night. I’m sure someone else will know which one it is. They have carte blanche to pretty much say whatever they please on Kim Dotcom and whatever else takes their fancy.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    As far as Tories are concerned, the take-home message from Thank You For Smoking is to emulate Nick Naylor.

  5. Tracey 5

    if scientists wont be allowed to speak outside their areas of expertise… where would that leave farrar as not even a scientist.

    • NZJester 5.1

      That is why he can speak outside of his area. He is not a scientists so is not accountable like they are so can make up what ever he wants, say what ever he is paid to, or put his name to something written for him and does it under the disguise of an average member of the media commenting on the topic.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        he is a pollster … that is his supposed expertise…. blogging and talking are sidelines…. if we continue the scientist analogy

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Farrar says:
    “But as it is basically a quite draconian precedent in terms of state confiscation of intellectual property”

    Which is complete load of rubbish as the Australian Court described the intellectual property approach as a ‘basic legal error’

    Simply put a registered trademark and in the case of tobacco packages the words colours designs logos markings or “get up” is not property that the government was taking.

    So again we find Farrar is repeating something that is simply untrue. This was resolved in Australia about 2 years ago.
    That hasnt stopped him just spouting nonsense from Catherine Rich of the Food and Grocery Council

  7. You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging…

    Dunno about him, but they’re certainly not paying me, and my reading of this is that the study he points to is as useful as anyone else’s study on this subject, all funded as they are by lobby groups with agendas, and that the Uni of Otago blog post he links to does indeed categorise plain packaging as “uncertain but possible” in terms of its likely effect.

    Big tobacco companies are easy to hate, but that doesn’t mean any bunch of wowsers with an anti-recreational-drug-use agenda is automatically the good guys if theyr’e opposing ‘big tobacco.’ This ‘smokefree by 2025′ bullshit is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, being doomed as it so obviously is to utter and abject failure – not that any of these wowsers ever accepts that any of their prescriptions for our betterment haven’t worked. Just have a look at that Uni of Otago post – once plain packaging’s failed, they’re already cueing up measures designed to restrict supply of an addictive product, just as though it had worked for any other addictive drug in the history of the planet.

    • b waghorn 7.1

      As homer said ‘you can’t win so why try’ a!

    • Tracey 7.2

      Do you smoke?

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.1

        No, but please do explain what relevance that would have to the subject under discussion.

        • Tracey

          Self interest and bias is always relevant in a discussion involving tobacco and anti tobacco lobbies.

          • McFlock


            Like the people who want to ostracise a fifth of the population because of a statistically undetectable threat to their own health from smoking in public open-air areas. Or maybe just because they don’t like the fact that other people might dare to smell.

          • Psycho Milt

            “Self interest and bias” doesn’t really describe the attitude of people who’d just like to be left to enjoy their preferred recreational drug in peace. Of more interest is the moral basis on which do-gooders claim the right to actively disrupt their enjoyment of their recreational drug of choice. We’ve increased tobacco taxes to the point where smokers are quite likely subsidising everyone else’s healthcare rather than vice versa, and we’ve seen to it that we non-smokers rarely encounter the smell of burning tobacco – there really is no moral basis for going beyond that.

            • Judge Holden

              Piss off Milt. Nicotine is addictive and highly carcinogenic. There’s a strong moral basis for an outright ban on cigarette manufacture and sale. You sound like Carrick Graham. I guess that’s what happens when you hang out with wankers like Rob and Ross.

            • Psycho Milt

              Best of luck with that War on Drugs, Judge. I’m picking that sometime within the next billion years, victory will be assured…

  8. les 8

    Slater is not too keen on Farrar ,jealous rival,puts the boot in whenever possible.

    • felix 8.1

      Don’t believe the hype. When Slater disses Farrar it’s just branding.

      • les 8.1.1

        not sure about that…remember when Farrar went to Cambodia Slater belittled him about a Cambodian ladyboy…not surprising for a closet homo sapien ..I guess!

        • tc

          Felix is onto it, any attention that generates web traffic on kiwiflog is sought.

        • Tracey

          Slater serves as the extreme end to make farrar look like moderate middle ground when he is actually well right of centre… Makes the right look more palatable when compared with the extremism and bile of slater. It is all part of the strategy imo.

  9. Ashoka's Hell 9

    Hey David Farrar, you little bald gimp, fxxk off (ps I hope you do smoke, but I suspect you don’t, coward):

    Gee, I’m just to thick to see the effect of advertising on influencing people to smoke, or maybe not (bullshit advertising since 1929)

    “Torches of Freedom” was a phrase used to encourage women’s smoking by exploiting women’s aspirations for a better life during the women’s liberation movement in the United States. Cigarettes were described as symbols of emancipation and equality with men. The term was first used by psychoanalyst A. A. Brill when describing the natural desire for women to smoke and was used by Edward Bernays to encourage women to smoke in public despite social taboos. Bernays hired women to march while smoking their “torches of freedom” in the Easter Sunday Parade of 1929 which was a significant moment for fighting social barriers for women smokers.

    The evidence for plain packaging:

    ‘No excuse for delay on plain cigarette packaging, say campaigners
    Ministers have ”no excuse” to delay plans to sell cigarettes in plain packs, health campaigners said after a new study found that tobacco sold in standardised packaging is ”less appealing” and makes smokers ”prioritise quitting”.

    Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded, Victoria study finds
    Australian research debunks tobacco industry’s claim that plain packaging hurts small business and increases illicit use

    France to introduce plain cigarette packaging

    We can’t accept that tobacco kills 73,000 people every year in our country – the equivalent of a plane crash every day with 200 people on board,” she added.

    Plain packaging likened to a ‘cancer vaccine’ as new figures show tough laws have cut smoking rates
    • Plain cigarette packaging credited for recent drop in smoking rates
    • Health experts have labeled plain-packaging a lung cancer vaccine
    • A national survey found daily smoking rates fell from 15.1 to 12.8 per cent from 2010 to 2013 and have halved since 1991
    • New Zealand, Britain and Ireland have plain-packaging legislation before their parliaments


    THIS is a black day for Big Tobacco. Cyril Chantler, who was asked by the British government four months ago to investigate whether people would smoke less if cigarettes were sold in ugly, nearly identical packs, rendered his verdict on Thursday. He said they probably would. Jane Ellison, the public-health minister, said she would probably accept the finding. If the government goes through with it Britain could become the second country, after Australia, to strip cigarette packs of all the colour and heraldry that makes smoking an aesthetic pleasure as well as a narcotic one. Ireland has similar plans.


    Oh and this:

    The Future of Tobacco Control

    The 2014 report makes clear that smoking is deadly for everyone. As Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak stated, “Despite 50 years of steady progress in reducing smoking rates, this nation continues to pay a heavy price in both lives and resources because of tobacco use. Without immediate and dramatic action to end the tobacco-use epidemic, the disease and death caused by smoking will continue at unacceptably high rates well into this century.”

    During the past 50 years, progress in tobacco control has validated specific strategies that work well to reduce tobacco use. These include:

    Higher prices on tobacco products
    Continued adoption of comprehensive smokefree policies
    Hard-hitting mass-media campaigns
    Funding comprehensive statewide tobacco control programs at CDC recommended levels
    Affordable and accessible cessation help for all smokers who want to quit
    A top priority discussed in the new report calls for an end to the use of cigarettes, which is the major cause of tobacco-related disease and death.

    If proven strategies are implemented at the local, state, and federal levels, public health leaders are confident we can reach a point where tobacco use is rare rather than an epidemic. This achievable goal has the potential to save millions of Americans from preventable disease and death.


    and this

    5.6 million children alive today will die early from smoking unless we take steps to stop the tobacco epidemic. See how many children (ages 0-17) are at risk in your state

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