Court upholds tough anti-tobacco laws
CANBERRA – Australia called on the world to match its tough new anti-tobacco marketing laws, which will ban logos on cigarette packs, after its highest court dismissed a challenge from manufacturers.
The decision means that from December 1st, cigarettes and tobacco products must be sold in plain olive green packets with graphic health warnings, such as pictures of mouth cancer and other smoking-related illnesses.
Although the impact of Australia’s ruling on the global business is small, the law could have a major effect if it is adopted as a precedent in other countries, especially the fast-growing economies that cigarette firms see as markets of the future.
The laws are in line with World Health Organisation recommendations and are being watched closely by countries including Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India, which are considering similar measures. Big tobacco firms challenged the laws in Australia’s High Court, claiming the rules were unconstitutional because they effectively extinguished their intellectual property rights. – (Reuters)