TOOWOOMBA’S smokers have been left gagging as new not-so-plain cigarette packets start to filter into stores.
A packet of Winfield Blues is no longer the colour its name would suggest – instead a sickly looking olive green sets the ailing backdrop for photos of health-plagued smokers in various states of decay.
The new packets, which use the same font for any brand or type of cigarette, will be the only legal packaging available from December onwards.
Free Choice Tobacconist owner Robert Anderson said his Hooper Centre store had already sold most of its old, colourful stock.
If any old packets are still in circulation when December arrives, representatives from tobacco companies will buy them back from stockists.
He believed smokers would not take the decision lightly.
“I think the new packets are obscene, but that’s what the government wants,” he said.
“If they think it’s going to stop people from smoking cigarettes, they’ve got another think coming.
“It’s the worst thing they could do if they want the votes of the smoking public . . . another nail in the government’s coffin.”
Mr Anderson said he was not worried about any negative impact on his business.
He said it would only help sales of certain smoking accessories.
“The general public feeling is that it’s a fair dinkum joke,” he said.
“I think the sale of cigarette cases (to cover the disturbing images) will really come to the fore.”