His nibs has been to cold inclement Britain to promote plain packaging. With the launch in Bristol with Liberal Democratic MP Stephen Williams, quotes in one or either terms may be inserted and his article in the Guardian. Chapman was crowing about a youth smoking, “…and young people’s smoking rates in Australia are at their lowest ever, just 2.5% of 14- to 17-year olds smoke.” So what does Australian youth for chemical stimulation? I found this site called http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au and I quote: “The Better Health Channel was established in May 1999 by the Victorian (Australia) State Government. “
The first part is obvious.
Reasons teenagers take drugs
- Socialising with friends, peer pressure or the need to feel part of a group
- Relaxation or fun
- Curiosity, experimentation or wanting to take risks
- To escape from psychological or physiological pain.”
Alcohol, cannabis and tobacco are the three most commonly used drugs among young people. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey of Australians aged 14–19 years, in 2010:
- 67 per cent had tried alcohol and just over one in five (21.1 per cent) were drinking alcohol on a weekly basis.
- One in five (21.5 per cent) had tried cannabis.
- Just under 12 per cent had tried tobacco and just under seven per cent smoked on a daily basis.
- Just over two per cent had tried amphetamines for non-medical reasons.
- 4.7 per cent had tried ecstasy.
- 2.1 per cent had tried inhalants – such as petrol, glue and solvents.
- 2.1 per cent had tried cocaine.
“Grog” or alcohol must be freely available in most Australian households and of course they make their own wine and beer. Many Australian teenagers have been introduced to alcohol by their parents in a responsible way, hence so prevalent.
But with tobacco at 12% try rate, cannabis is at 21.5%, nearly twice as high.
If you combine ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine et al it adds up to 34.5% nearly three times as much as tobacco.
What do all these drugs have in common that’s right, plain packaging.
I think any statistician would conclude at the very worst there is no correlation between plain packaging tobacco and drug sales and it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the forbidden fruit becomes sweeter and the allure even greater for drug use.
What ever the outcome of plain packaging it seems that sales will not decline, they may even go up. So this becomes an expensive lesson in Chapman’s narcissism and the demonisation of smokers. I also may mean that teenagers may start consuming far more dangerous substances. But hey we got plain packaging.