"...these are used to make people choose a particular brand."
That was it, a statement of advertising truth - it's about brand choice not product choice. And this is the basis for introducing plain packaging. There is absolutely no evidence at all that supports the idea that the shininess or otherwise of the packaging is the crucial factor in some thirteen-year-old's decision to try a fag. Indeed, if you think about this for a minute or two (especially if you were once that thirteen-year-old), you'll know it's nonsense. Of all the myriad reasons for someone starting to smoke, "it's in a gold pack" or "the pack is all pink and girly, I have to smoke" are such vanishingly small reasons as to be irrelevant.
But that doesn't stop them:
The policy – designed to make smoking less appealing to young people — appeared to have been put on hold four months ago. But Government sources indicated that ministers had decided to implement the scheme after an outcry from doctors and the Opposition.
I'm guessing that the last two words in that quote are the crucial ones - we're having a review because the government want to close off another line of criticism from Labour. This is despite what evidence we have showing what an utterly stupid and ineffective policy 'standardised packs' is:
...the accountancy firm KPMG released a report on 4 November, which highlighted how the Australian government has lost $1 billion Australian dollars in the 12 months ended in June, as a consequence of the vast jump in black market sales of cigarettes.
There was also a rise of 154 per cent in sales of manufactured counterfeit cigarettes and fake brands (known as ‘illicit whites’). One of these is called Manchester; it has a market share of 1.4 per cent, which is staggering considering they are illegal. In terms of total shipments, illicit sales of cigarettes have increased from 1.5 per cent to 13.3 per cent. And most significantly – cigarette consumption has not changed.
So there you go - these public health idiots and a ministerial class more bothered by headlines than whether a policy works propose an idea that will increase crime, cost jobs and, at best, have no effect at all on rates of smoking. It makes me want to scream - partly because these idiots still don't understand brand marketing (or even bother to ask people who do understand brand marketing what they think) but mostly because this is policy-making based on prejudice masquerading as science.