Plain Packaging
The idea of plain packaging for tobacco products was a fairly unknown issue until quite recently-when, after being given approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Australian government introduced legislation to ensure that all tobacco products would be sold in plain olive brown packets, as seen right, to ward new smokers away from smoking. This plan has been proposed by Nicola Roxon and accepted by both Bob Brown and Tony Abbott. Though this debate does give some advantage to the affirmative case, as it has the rhetorical strongpoint of preventing deaths from smoking and the negative side becomes quite technical, it is nonetheless possible to win from either side of this debate.


Rates of smoking in Australia have been fairly consistently falling from 34% in 1980 to almost half of that, 19% of our population, in 2007. However, the affirmative should argue that there even this proportion is too much, particularly when many young Australians are taking up smoking.


  • That there should be plain packaging for cigarettes
  • That there should be plain packaging for tobacco products



The affirmative side should follow Nicola Roxon's model of olive brown cases for tobacco products with health warnings on them, and that only the brand name will differentiate one brand of cigarette and another.

The negative does not need to propose a countermodel.


'1.1-An Imperative argument-'claim that there is a problem with the status quo in three ways:

Affirmative Negative

1.1-Effectiveness/Unnecessary Argument-claim that plain packaging for tobacco will make no difference for smoking rates for two reasons:

  1. The decision to smoke depends on the taste of cigarettes, not their style.
  2. Existing smokers are addicted to nicotine-they are unconcerned with how the packaging looks, and just want to fulfill their addiction.
  3. The packaging of smoking makes no difference to its status-it is the act of smoking that some young Australians see as upper class, not the style of packaging.