Australia - alliance of retail groups funded by big tobacco suffers major loss in fight against plain cigarette packs..
March 28, 2011 - Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has launched a website calling on smokers to unite and flex their political muscle over tough federal government regulations. The online campaign comes as the tobacco industry ramps up opposition to a government plan for cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging from next year. Australia - Philip Morris (PMI) searching for ways to prevent plain packaging of tobacco products coming in 2012..)
Philip Morris's new website - ideservetobeheard.com.au (I deserve to be heard) - claims smokers are under constant attack from a "nanny state"' determined to raise taxes and ban smoking in public spaces, such as beaches and city malls.
"If you're tired of being singled out as a smoker, it's time to speak up because the more that smokers like you have a say, the more the government will have to listen,"' the website, authorised by Philip Morris, says.
The site encourages disaffected smokers to contact their local member of Parliament and provides a forum to share grievances. The web address is on cards inserted inside tobacco products manufactured by Philip Morris.
The new strategy follows a recent media blitz by the Alliance of Australian Retailers, which is extensively funded by Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco. (Australia - alliance of retail groups funded by big tobacco suffers major loss in fight against plain cigarette packs..)
The campaign claimed there was no evidence to support the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes, which would harm newsagents, service stations and convenience stores.
Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie accused the tobacco industry of hiding behind websites and third-party organisations that purport to be independent.
Reference: Big tobacco splutters over plain package law, Cameron Houston, theage.com.au, 3/27/2011.