News & Comment

Australia passes plain packaging laws

Thu 10th November, 2011

Australia is to become the first country to put cigarettes in plain packaging after the Senate passed a law banning brand labels on packs. 

From December next year, all cigarettes will be sold in olive green packs, which research has shown is least appealing to smokers.

Under the new laws no trademark brand logos will be permitted on any packaging of tobacco products, although companies will be able to print their name and the cigarette brand in small, prescribed font on the packets.

The boxes will continue to carry stark health warning messages and pictures, which will cover 75% of the front of the pack and 90% of the back.

Cigarette giant British American Tobacco, which owns 46% of the Australian market, plans to challenge the legislation in the high court on constitutional grounds.

Philip Morris Australia said the legislation meant it had little option but to pursue its compensation claim "through international arbitration against Australia and to also consider domestic legal action under Australian law".

Source: Guardian (10 November 2011)

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