Australia slams 'sick joke' cigarette packs

September 12, 2012

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."

in Australia will have to be sold in drab, uniform khaki packaging with graphic from December 1 under a new anti-smoking policy upheld last month by the nation's highest court.

In order to meet the shelf deadline products must be manufactured in plain packets from October 1 and Imperial Tobacco rolled out one last branded packet Wednesday which attracted the ire of Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

The new box shows the Peter Stuyvesant brand ripped at one corner to reveal the new drab-look box and comes with information to customers about the coming changes claiming "it's what's on the inside that counts."

"We're going plain early because we know Peter Stuyvesant will continue to live on inside," Imperial's advertising says.

Plibersek condemned the interim packets as a "the ultimate sick joke from big tobacco" and said they exposed the falseness of industry complaints that they would not be able to meet the December deadline.

"That packaging at the moment is not illegal but I can tell you it's unprincipled. The are using their packs to have a last desperate gasp at promoting their brand," the said.

"And yes, they're right, it's what's in the pack that counts, and what we used to call them when I was a kid was cancer sticks."

A spokeswoman for Imperial said the packaging was "a mechanism to provide factual information about upcoming legislative changes to adult consumers of the Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes.

"It is also important to inform our adult consumers that the product itself will remain unchanged," the spokeswoman told AFP.

failed in their attempt to have plain packaging struck down by the High Court of Australia, but the policy is still being challenged at the World Trade Organization and in an investment treaty lawsuit filed by Philip Morris Asia in Hong Kong.

Explore further: Philip Morris challenges plain packs in Australia

Related Stories

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.

India mulls plain packaging of cigarettes

September 5, 2012
India is considering plain packaging of cigarettes in line with new Australian laws that ban all logos and brand descriptions, a top health official in New Delhi said on Wednesday.

EU also studying plain-packaging law for tobacco

August 16, 2012
The European Commission said on Thursday it too could shortly make legislative proposals that would force manufacturers to distribute tobacco products across Europe in plain packaging.

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.

Australia fumes over smoking kangaroos

January 13, 2012
The Australian government on Friday hit out at British American Tobacco for using images of kangaroos to sell its cigarettes in Europe, telling the company to "get your hands off our icons".

Australia defiant on WTO cigarette challenge

May 25, 2012
Australia said Friday it would "vigorously defend" itself against complaints about its plan for plain cigarette packaging made by Honduras and Ukraine to the World Trade Organisation.

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

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.