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Sunday, December 2, 2012

In Australia, cigarette packets will be all the same color and have no advertising

Australia is the first country in the world that sells packs of cigaretteswithout advertising and in a uniform colorThis measure, adopted from Friday nationwide, is a pioneering strategy to combat smokingUnder the law, all the packets have the same olive green. Mark, meanwhile, written in a typeface appear homogeneous and fine print . In addition, the packages include images of diseases linked to smoking. Warnings about the risks of smoking to health occupy 75% of the front of the pack of cigarettes and 90% of the back. Applying the new format has begun to have positive or, at least, psychological, according to Australian Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek. "I have received some letters" in which smokers say cigarettes "do not know as before", said Plibersek told reporters. However, tobacco companies strongly deny that they have changed the ingredients. 

Millions in fines

Large retail stores, which sell 70% of cigarettes in Australia, have complied with the provision and expected that the "majority" of businesses make changes, but companies like Philip Morris refused to return them with advertising packages , according to the local agency manufacturers violate the new law, fines referred to exceed one hundred million dollars and the withdrawal from the market. The Government, Labour in power since 2007, has increased its pressure against smoking in recent years because it is the cause of death of about 15,000 Australians annually by related ailments. On the other hand, represents an expenditure of more than 31,000 billion health budget.

Decades antismoking

The first major step against this problem was in the 90s when the executive banned advertising of snuff in any media and support, including sponsorship of any kind of event. Then raised taxes, smoke-free laws strengthened nationally and in individual states and territories that make up the country, until in November 2011 approved the controversial bill to eliminate the last vestige of advertising on cigarette packets. Soon after the law passed, the powerful tobacco British American Tobacco (with international brands such as Lucky Strike) filed a complaint in the Australian courts on the grounds that the measure was unconstitutional and infringed intellectual property rights. Although Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco (Cohiba or Golden Virginia) and Philip Morris (Marlboro, L & M and Chesterfield) joined the litigants, the lawsuit was dismissed last August. The struggle between the Government and the tobacco, instead of being sentenced, has continued unabated since then, with tactics such as the appearance of the packages slogans like "what matters is the content." Honduras, Dominican Republic and Ukraine inquired this year to dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) the creation of a panel of experts to be manifested in relation to Australian law on cigarette packaging homogeneous. tobacco giant Philip Morris also has opened another front against the said dispute settlement bodies because, according to experts, the Australian regulation violates a bilateral investment protection with Hong Kong, where it sells its products to Australia.

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