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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

A Ban on Cigarette Packaging in Australia...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A law has been passed in Australia to encase cigarettes in blank packets. Now, as somebody who is trying desperately to quit smoking - and failing - one may think I'd agree with this. However, I don't! In the Western World (Oz is included in that for sure) we live under a system where many unhealthy things are marketed repeatedly in front of our eyes every day. From McDonald's and its eye-catching 'golden arches' to Coca-Cola's red and white semiotic hypnotics to, yes, major beer companies such as Foster's (an Australian company, might I add) and Carlsberg, whose products have a design on their outer casing.

A possible new look for ciggies.

Is this one rule for one and one for the others (those deemed more socially acceptable?)?  Have the Australian government agreed with many lefties (not a bad bunch really) that, in fact, brands and marketing promoting bad health is wrong, but then changed the rules to say "only if it's to do with smoking"? Many people may counter this argument by saying that cigarette companies are the worst of a bad bunch. Bull. Absolutely not true. McDonald's would happily have your children guzzling down their crap food morning, noon and night if they could (thus leaving your children in a health-state that would kill them arguably before smoking could) because it would turn a bigger profit. Do big beer companies not make money off of alcoholics ruining their own and their families' lives? Is Coca-Cola not marketed to people of all ages to strip their insides? Think "holidays are coming" at Christmas whilst kids sit and watch endless hours of TV (don't get me started on the problems that particular medium has caused).

Be good today kids and I'll let you clog your arteries up with a shite meal from Maccy-D's.

It is very simply unfair to hit one bad health-promoting industry and not others with this. Personally, I believe do the lot of them, we'll see how much a kid wants a Big Mac then compared to home cooked food. However the Australians who passed this are doing one of them which is completely unjust.

Full article in The Guardian on this story is here.