Will horror show ciggy packs work?

OFF-PUTTING: Nicole Marks with the new cigarette packets.
OFF-PUTTING: Nicole Marks with the new cigarette packets. John Mccutcheon

NICOLE Marks cringes at the sight of the rotting, gangrene-infected foot on new plain packaged cigarettes and discretely hides it from her non-smoking friends.

But it's not enough to make her kick the habit, yet.

"I am embarrassed at holding the packet around non-smokers, they are not nice at all," she said.

"The packets look awful and are not pleasant to look at. A non-smoker shouldn't have to look at that."

Nicole took up smoking 11 years ago and said the graphic images had encouraged her to smoke less.

From today, tobacco plain packaging laws will take effect across the country and require all cigarettes to be sold in uniform drab olive packets, sporting explicit health warnings.

Australian Medical Association Sunshine Coast representative Dr Mason Stevenson applauded the legislation but doubted it would substantively reduce smoking in Australia.

"We have already had a number of years of vivid photographs on cigarette packaging, with only minimal impacts on smoking rates. Much more needs to be done," he said. "Nonetheless the rest of the world is looking with great interest at the impact of plain packaging legislation as to whether it is a significant deterrent."

Luke's IGA owner Mel Luke said they had introduced plain packaged cigarettes over the past couple of weeks and were prepared for today's official switch.

"It could be rather confusing for all the consumers and retailers for a short term until we get used to it," he said.

Cancer Council Queensland Tobacco Programs team leader Rachel Hull said the change had the potential to reduce the numbers of young people taking up smoking.

For information and support when quitting smoking call Quitline 137 848.

What our Facebook followers had to say about it

Harley Breeden: I live in NSW and the plain packaging was brought in about two months ago. The packaging I feel does not discourage smokers, as they are after the smokes not the package. So I feel it is a waste of time, a smoker will only ever truly quit when they really want to.

Marilyn Stokes: I have given up smoking seven times, I'm now on my eighth try, it's been two months. If I was still smoking I would buy cigarettes wrapped in newspaper. It's an addiction, when is the government going to realise this? The tobacco companies rule the world, we'll never get rid of them.

Topics:  cigarettes plain packaging

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