WTO backs Australia's neutral cigarette packs

The World Health Organization on Thursday upheld Australia's right to require neutral packaging for cigarettes, over the objections of several foreign governments.

A special WHO group on the issue discarded arguments from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Indonesia, a statement said.

The so-called "neutral" packets were introduced in Australia in December 2012 with the aim of deglamourising smoking.

The packs are an identical olive green, bearing no logos and instead including health warnings.

In 2014, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, all major tobacco producers, as well as Indonesia launched separate complaints before the WTO, saying the Australian legislation harmed their business.

Ukraine also filed a complaint, which it later withdrew.

WTO experts said the countries had failed to show that Australia's actions contravened international law or blocked international trade.

They also rejected the charge that neutral packets do not reduce tobacco consumption.

The WTO decision will take effect within 20 to 60 days, barring an appeal.


Explore further

Honduras steps up WTO fight over Australia tobacco law

© 2018 AFP

Citation: WTO backs Australia's neutral cigarette packs (2018, June 28) retrieved 20 May 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-06-wto-australia-neutral-cigarette.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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