Cigarette's Stubbed – Plain Packaging to Go Ahead

Four multinational tobacco companies have lost their quest to stub out the Australian Government's plain packaging laws.

British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco took their fight against the drab green boxes – designed to deter smokers – to the full bench of the High Court in April.

But in a win for the Federal Government, a majority ruling by the High Court today dismissed their case.

The decision means that from October, cigarettes made in Australia will need to be packaged in drab brown boxes featuring standard fonts and larger graphic health warnings.

Logos, slogans, colours and other brandings will be banned.

The case will be of enormous interest around the world as other jurisdictions such as the UK and New Zealand contemplate plain packaging laws. 

President Mike Daube, who chaired the Government's expert committee that recommended plain packaging, said global tobacco companies opposed plain packaging ferociously because they knew other countries would follow Australia's lead.

“Australia's actions are being closely watched by governments around the world, including by Norway, Uruguay, UK, EU, NZ, France, South Africa and China,'' their statement said. “The message to the rest of the world is big tobacco can be taken on and beaten.

“Without brave governments willing to take the fight up to big tobacco, they'd still have us believing that tobacco is neither harmful nor addictive.''


Emed Comment:

This world-first reform means the next generation of Australians will never be exposed to or deceived by tobacco advertising.

The next step – plain packaging for Macdonalds, Coke and KFC.


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