WHO hails Australia tobacco packaging ban

August 15, 2012

The World Health Organization on Wednesday welcomed the decision by Australia's High Court to dismiss a legal challenge against plain cigarette packaging and hoped it would have a "domino effect" in other countries.

"The industry's attempt to derail this effective measure failed," said the UN health agency's director general Margaret Chan.

Four companies led by British American Tobacco (BAT) had challenged Australia's plans to enforce the sale of tobacco products in plain packaging from December 2012.

They claimed it infringed their intellectual property rights by banning brands and trademarks from packets, and was unconstitutional. But Australia's High Court on Wednesday ruled against the challenge.

Chan pointed out that other countries had been watching the outcome of the hearing and were considering similar measures.

"With so many countries lined up to ride on Australia's coattails, what we hope to see is a for the good of public health," she said.

"Plain packaging is a highly effective way to counter industry's ruthless marketing tactics," added the WHO chief.

Explore further: Plain-packet cigarettes move closer in Australia

Related Stories

BAT challenges Australia cigarette packaging law

December 1, 2011

British American Tobacco on Thursday launched a High Court challenge against a law that will require plain packaging on cigarettes in Australia, claiming it infringes intellectual property rights.

Philip Morris challenges plain packs in Australia

December 20, 2011

Global tobacco giant Philip Morris Tuesday stepped up its legal campaign against an Australian law banning logos and branding from cigarette packs, saying it had taken its case to the High Court.

Australia takes on big tobacco firms in court

April 17, 2012

Australia said it was confident of seeing off a court challenge Tuesday by big tobacco firms over plain-packaging for cigarettes, in a test case being watched by governments around the world.

Recommended for you

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.