Here, we just recently put our swanky cigarette boxes out of view and without much fuss but the Australian plan is generating a lot of opposition, most of which is coming from obvious vested interests.
Tobacco companies' are proven masters when it comes to the dark art of persuasion and have always managed to wriggle their way around advertising restriction policies as they met them; the advertising of Dunhill "aftershave" is a clear example of their smooth cross-product branding acrobatics. This new government policy, which bans the use of colour, brand, and identity, is the ultimate way of curbing their influence. To my mind, blank packaging is defensible and seems fair. In addition the government could provide clear information on the risks associated with smoking to help inform consumers. This would be useful and honest, unlike what is being planned here.
Do the Australian government really know the probability of developing trenchfoot from smoking? Assuming they do, then they must know its not very high (given the few limbless smokers you see or hear about). So what we're dealing with here is actually a message that is inherently disingenuous. That's not good... nor is spreading such a message, with the intension of manipulating behaviour, in a realm that works by bypassing reason! are we really ok with this?
I'm pretty sure this is what used to call propaganda.