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.
Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, speaking about the landmark High Court ruling against big tobacco companies.
The new law requires cigarettes to be sold in plain olive packaging without colourful branding. The world’s largest tobacco companies challenged this law saying it was unconstitutional, but the court ruled against British American Tobacco, Britain’s Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco.
This brings Australia into line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, which are not yet adopted by the world’s largest and wealthiest nations.
The adverse health effects of smoking are most notable in low to middle income nations, such as India (estimated 175 million smokers), Indonesia (65 million smokers), and Thailand (15 million smokers).
Australia’s Cancer Council chief executive Ian Olver says: “We hope other nations follow Australia’s lead and eliminate the use of tobacco packaging as a marketing tool, to help reduce the global tobacco death toll – which is on track to reach half a billion people this century.”
Quote source: Reuters.