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Australia introduces plain packaging for cigarettes
With effect from 1st December 2012, Australia has become the first country to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in the world.

Under the new legislation, all cigarette packets must be stripped of all brand colouring, logos and decoration and must all be in a uniform olive-brown and style of packaging. The health warnings and graphic images shall cover 75 percent of the front and 90 percent of the back of the pack, such as gangrene foot and mouth cancer which could restrict all sorts of promotions with cigarette packs and reduce the appeal of cigarette smoking.

Ms Tanya Plibersek, Minister of Department of Health and Ageing of Australia expected that plain packaging can effectively prevent youth from starting their first cigarette. Ms Fiona Sharkie, Executive Director of tobacco control, organization - Quit Victoria, stated that most smokers are still underestimating the hazards of smoking. This new measure can protect youth from smoking as well as encourage smokers to quit so as to reduce the diseases and deaths attributed by tobacco, such as lung cancer.

After the Australian Parliament passed the plain packaging bill in 2011, the tobacco companies opposed the law and filed for compensation from the Court until the final ruling by High Court in favor of the government. The new measure could be introduced with effect from 1st December 2012 thereafter.

The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly welcomes the new smoke-free measure, plain packaging from Australia and calls on the rest of the world to follow Australia’s tough stance on tobacco marketing.

Source: Quit Victoria
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