Progress … ?

It is very encouraging to see that The Korea Herald has posted a picture of the new compulsory design style for cigarette packets in Australia. Even better than this fact is that the picture and caption were featured on the front page of last Friday’s newspaper.

The caption is very brief and offers virtually no real detail or explanation, however, the picture is there, along with mention of the fact only that cigarette companies will have to include warnings on the many negative effects of smoking has on health of smokers and others around them (‘second hand smokers’).

I believe this to be a great thing, and I really look forward to the day that this is accepted and adopted here in South Korea.

Front page feature - Is it good? Is it good enough?

This small front page photo caption piece is, however, really very tame compared to the BBC’s coverage of the development of this policy in Australia. Let us compare that newsprint front page piece above with this below, taken from the BBC website when the Australian law was first proposed nearly one year ago:

The photo was used in the BBC article on the same topic in April 2010. Do you think that this photo is more or less effective at getting people to stop smoking? Why did the BBC use this photo, and why did The Korea Herald not use it (yet)?

Even this latest picture used by the BBC is also probably more likely to ‘catch your eye‘ than the one used by The Korea Herald last week:

BBC 2011: "Australias design plans for cigarette packets are intentionally off-putting."

Personally though, I think that this personal blog-style ‘column’ by one reporter for the BBC does the most to easily explain these recent developments in a way that The Korea Herald piece did not:

“Olive green is the latest weapon in the ongoing battle between the Australian government and Big Tobacco. …

… Research has found that dark olive is the most unattractive colour for consumers, and particularly young people.”

Finally, this small front page feature, as obviously severely limited as it is, does go some small way to making up for the disappointing printing of an ‘advertorial’ last year in an English language newspaper on how one particular brand of cigarettes in Korea was deemed to be the most popular.

That particular ‘article’ was really just an advertisement in disguise, dressed up to look like a real news piece. That is a very disgusting practise. I hope that the journalists involved feel ashamed and give away any money they accepted for such a blatant and obvious example of covert advertising, especially seeing as it is further supporting such a destructive and addictive habit.

I hope that all forms of Korean media will continue to expand their coverage and the power of their content to help Korea really join in the most important and international ‘well-being’ trend on Earth these days (apart from stopping wars, fighting poverty, and tackling global warming): getting every university, home and street in South Korea to be full of only pure, fresh air, and thereby to be ‘smoke free’.


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