Oh, how everyone applauded
When our ‘Hoges’ was awarded
Australian Of The Year
And we all had another beer!
Those days aren’t just an echo,
As brazen Big Tobacco,
Not smiling now, not funny,
Comes looking for more money.
Now they’re funding Abbott’s unproven fiction
That this government lacks guts, conviction.
But whatever the cunning plots they hatch,
In Julia Gillard cigarette cartels have met their match.
NOTE: American tobacco company Philip Morris’ Hong Kong arm launched legal action today against the Australian government over plans to strip company logos from cigarette packages and replace them with grisly images of cancerous mouths, sickly children and bulging, blinded eyes.
Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says she will not be backing down. Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, has been equally firm as she introduced the legislation in Parliament and promoted it within the wider community. She has been particularly critical of Tony Abbott on his refusal to commit the Coalition Opposition to rejecting donations from tobacco companies.
My own abhorrence of smoking and loathing of cigarette companies goes back to my very early childhood. My mum was a lifelong smoker. I vividly recall how, with a hacking cough and a young family to feed, she’d still scratch around for those few pennies to buy a paper packet of five Woodbines. I knew then, seventy odd years ago, that ‘ciggies’ were a bad thing. I grew up needing no convincing that nicotine was a curse on society. Watching how the Coalition rationalises its accepting donations from cigarette companies, as the ALP did in the past, one wonders if we will ever be free of this awful addiction.
I passed a poor soul on the street yesterday, pushing his gear around in a shopping trolley, dragging on a fag and coughing. No doubt smoking wasn’t the worst of his addictions, but it surely was another proverbial nail in his coffin. I wonder if his mother had once bought him a Matchbox toy truck with an advertising slogan for Winfield cigarettes with Paul Hogan smiling out at him. No one thought twice about that thirty years ago. Thank God cigarette advertising has long been banned. Plain packaging is yet another measure that needs to be supported as this Government does everything in its power to limit the number of new addicts and to loosen the grip of Big Tobacco.