Legislation proposed by the Australian government would make it the first country to require plain packaging for cigarettes, outlawing all colors, logos and promotional text. The packs would be drab olive green and covered with health warnings.
The Christian Science Monitor (the Monitor) reports that Canada, New Zealand and Britain are likely to follow Australia’s lead. The paper notes that Australia was one of the first countries to ban tobacco advertising more than 20 years ago. Some of the country’s states have banned smoking in indoor public places since 1999. Cigarettes have been outlawed on some beaches for the past seven years.
The World Health Organization recommends plain cigarette packaging. According to the Monitor, studies suggest colorful packing and logos make cigarettes more attractive, especially to young people.
The tobacco industry says it will mount a legal challenge, maintaining the law will infringe international trademark laws, according to the article. The industry also asserts the law will not reduce smoking rates, and is looking to smokers and retailers for support in its fight against the legislation.