British lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favour of forcing tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packaging despite fierce opposition from the industry.
Three major US tobacco companies—Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and Lorillard—have agreed to pay $100 million to settle more than 400 lawsuits claiming that smoking damaged people's health.
The British government said Wednesday it would seek a vote on forcing tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packaging before the current parliament ends ahead of a May election.
Cigarettes could be sold in plain packets in Britain from 2015 after the government moved Thursday to revive a policy aimed at stopping young people from taking up smoking.
Britain on Friday announced it had postponed plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes, saying it was waiting to see the results of a similar move in Australia.
Australia on Friday urged governments around the globe to stand up to the tobacco industry, saying it was confident of victory in a new legal battle over its landmark plain packaging rules.
Governments worldwide must ban all forms of tobacco marketing, not just billboards and TV ads, as companies find new ways to tap the market, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
With menthol cigarettes to be banned and cigarette packs sold with repulsive images of rotting lungs, the European Union released new anti-tobacco proposals Wednesday, the first in over a decade.
A law forcing tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets came into effect in Australia on Saturday in an effort to strip any glamour from smoking and prevent young people from taking up the habit.
All cigarettes sold in Australia will be in identical, plain packages from Saturday in a world first after the government overcame legal challenges from the tobacco industry.
The Australian government's pension fund for public servants said Thursday it was reviewing its investment in tobacco shares following the passage of plain packaging laws in a bid to curb smoking.
Australia slammed as a "sick joke" Wednesday new cigarette packs on sale as part of the national phase-in to plain packaging which play on drab branding and claim it's "what's on the inside that counts."
Health advocates declared a "brave new world of tobacco control" following Australia's historic packaging victory over the cigarette industry, but analysts warn that smoking is far from a dying trade.
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.
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.