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Plain Boxes May Be Future for Australian Cigarettes

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The Australian government is proposing to ban all brand images and use of color on cigarette packaging, the New York Times reported April 29.

The plan submitted to Parliament for consideration would make Australia the first country to restrict cigarette packaging to plain boxes, with promotional text limited to brand and product names in a standardized color, position, font, and size. The proposal also calls for limits on Internet advertising, new taxes, and new antismoking campaigns.

Philip Morris International called the proposal “an unconstitutional expropriation of valuable intellectual property, violating a variety of Australia's international trade obligations.” But Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the government “will not be intimidated by any big tobacco company.”

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