Australian court defers ruling on tobacco packaging

April 19, 2012

Australian judges hearing a legal challenge to new laws requiring plain packaging for cigarettes deferred their decision Thursday until a later date, yet to be decided.

Four cigarette companies, led by British American (BAT), have contested the new law in a High hearing, claiming it infringes their by banning brands and trademarks from packets.

The government has said it is confident it will see off the challenge to the legislation, which will see all cigarettes sold in the same drab olive-green packets and graphic from December 1.

Chief judge Robert French said the court would retire to consider its position and return judgement in the closely-watched case at a future date. It was not clear when the decision could be expected.

Closing arguments in the case saw lawyers acting for Japan Tobacco International (JTI) producing a packet of in court, saying warnings for the toxic substance were modest compared with those planned for cigarettes.

Government lawyers had argued that the new laws were similar to the regulation of other such as rat-killer.

Australia is the first country to mandate plain-packaging, but the ground-breaking move is being closely watched by other countries considering similar approaches, including Britain and Canada.

New Zealand said Thursday it had agreed "in principal" to go ahead with laws mandating similar plain packaging, subject to public consultation later this year as part of a wider strategy to stamp out smoking in the country by 2025.

Canberra says its plan is aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths, but JTI, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris have argued that it infringes their trademark rights.

Australia estimates it has 15,000 deaths each year from tobacco-related illnesses.

Explore further: Australia takes on big tobacco firms in court

Related Stories

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.

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.

Plain-packet cigarettes move closer in Australia

November 10, 2011
Australia's world-first plan for plain cigarette packaging inched closer Thursday when the legislation passed through the upper house of parliament.

Plain-packet cigarettes delayed in Australia

November 2, 2011
Australia's world-first plan for plain packaging on cigarettes has been delayed, giving tobacco firms extra time to prepare, the government said Wednesday, with the first sales now due in December 2012.

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

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.