PLAIN PACKAGING WRITTEN BY DEVON TREVATHAN
lain packaging is the World Health Organization’s new global go-to in the fight against tobacco. Instead of the familiar brands one might see lining the walls of the local convenience store or gas station, there would be indistinguishable boxes labeled with a standardized font and decorated with large, graphic photos depicting the possible illnesses one could contract from sucking on cancer sticks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like supporters of the legislation are going to stop at cigarettes—some, like Dr. Judith Mackay, an advisor to the World Health Organisation, as well as advisory body Public Health England, are trying to ban branded bottles in the alcohol industry as well. This has citizens of all backgrounds growing concerned, and rightfully so. According to experts who speak in no uncertain terms, applying plain packaging to alcohol would crush the craft sector. Packaging is the tool with which producers are able to distinguish themselves as a unique and desirable commodity. With these proposed regulations, consumers would see only the most basic information. Plain packaging is already a nationwide law for tobacco products in a number of countries, including the U.K., France, and Australia. Canada’s got this and other health initiatives related to smoking on the calendar for rollout in the near future. While the measure might seem radical, smoking remains a massive health risk—it kills upwards of 7 million people each year worldwide. The
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