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Australia cigarette plain packaging law upheld by court

Australia's highest court has upheld a new government law on mandatory packaging for cigarettes that removes brand colours and logos from packaging.

The law requires cigarettes to be sold in olive green packets, with graphic images warning of the consequences of smoking.

Leading global tobacco manufacturers, including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris, had challenged the law.

The new packaging rules are scheduled to be implemented from 1 December 2012.

"At least a majority of the court is of the opinion that the Act is not contrary to (Australia's constitution)," the court said in a brief statement.

The full judgement is expected to be published on a later date.

'Still a bad law'

The law was passed by the government last year. Authorities have said that plain packaging of cigarettes will help reduce the number of smokers in the country.

However, tobacco manufacturers have argued that removing their brand names and company colours from packets will lead to a drastic cut in profits.

They have also warned that it may result in fake products entering the market.

"It's still a bad law that will only benefit organised crime groups which sell illegal tobacco on our streets," said Scott McIntyre, spokesman for British American Tobacco (BAT) Australia.

Sonia Stewart, spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco, added that "the legislation will make the counterfeiters' job both cheaper and easier by mandating exactly how a pack must look".

Cigarette manufacturers have also claimed that the law is unconstitutional and infringes on their intellectual property rights by banning the use of brands and trademarks.

However, BAT's Mr McIntyre said the firms will comply with the new rules.

"Even though we believe the government has taken our property from us, we'll ensure our products comply with the plain packaging requirements and implementation dates."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19264245

Comments

  • exp.am.cohen.tobacco.warnings.cnn.640x360.jpg

    that should also be the case here. i-dagdag sa packaging ang graphic warning labels.

    yun nga lang, dapat dito sa Pilipinas, ganito ang nakasulat sa warning label:

    "[email protected] ka kapag hindi mo alam na nakakamatay ang pagyoyosi."

    or

    "Lakas mong magyosi, para kang tambucho ng Pascual Liner Bus. Hiyang hiya naman ako sa iyo."

    :naughty: :glee:
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