Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mr. Victor El Hage: The (unlikely) wizard of Oz

Photo credit: Australian government

"Australia's world-first laws on cigarette and tobacco plain packaging have come into force, replacing brand logos and colours with generic drab olive green coverings, gruesome pictures of diseased body parts and depictions of children and babies made ill by their parents' smoking.
Apart from the varying health warnings and images the only difference between the packs, mandatory from Saturday, are the brand names, and these are all printed in identical small font. It is the world's most strict regime for the packaging of tobacco."
YES! And so it happened... I just read this in the guardian and I think it is a major victory....
But scroll down the article and read this:
"Many smokers in Australia remain defiant. "The pictures don't affect me. I just ignore them. You just grab a smoke and put it away," said Victor El Hage as he purchased a pack with a photograph of a mouth tumour. "Honestly, there's only one reason I'd stop, and that's my little girl.""
Did you read the name? Victor El Hage... A born and bred.... Australian? El Hage family most likely comes from Lebanon, and Mr. Victor himself is - in true Lebanese style - defiant to anything that would make health sense, anything that could contribute positively to the well-being of society, and the "my little girl" argument is one of the corniest and most unlikely-to-come-true theories that cheap smokers use to postpone the time when they have to stop because chemotherapy is approaching.
If Mr. El Hage is such an illuminati, he should have withheld from immigrating to Australia and kept his genius constrained back home - God knows one more "genius" won't do any difference here! And shame on the government that accepts such clueless immigrants just because of the points system (which Mr. El Hage must have passed with flying colors because he has a university degree but zero common sense!).


Anonymous said...

Not sure why they insist on using silly scare tactics when they have proven to be ineffective.
Just ban the whole thing already, rather than collecting taxes on cigarette sales and claiming you care about the health of your citizens.

Tarek Chemaly said...

Thank you for the very honest comment, true, economically speaking the demand curve for cigarettes is very stiff which means that despite the price hike or other factors, proportionally, the demand does not go down. So indeed, by the same token, cigarettes and drugs have the same kind of demand curve, however one is deemed "immoral" and the other simply "health hazard".