Australia readies for first use of plain packets of cigarettes



Agence France Presse

Published — Saturday 1 December 2012

Last update 30 November 2012 8:04 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

All cigarettes sold in Australia will be in identical, plain packages from Saturday in a world first after the government overcame legal challenges from the tobacco industry.
Under new laws which come into effect on Dec. 1, all tobacco products must be sold in drab, olive-brown packets with expanded graphic health warnings which feature images such as gangrenous feet and mouth cancer.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the packets, which survived a constitutional challenge from major tobacco firms, were about making smoking less attractive.
“That’s the aim of this exercise,” she told reporters in Sydney.
“The challenge for us as a government is to make it (smoking) as unappealing as possible. If we can prevent young people from taking it up, that’s a lifetime gift to them.”
Tobacco companies had fought the change, but the High Court rejected their argument that the new law infringed their intellectual property rights by banning brands and trademarks from packets.
Plibersek said tobacco companies had reported no changes to their products, but there was a possible psychological effect of the new packages making them less attractive to some people.
“I have had a few letters... with smokers saying to me, ‘Oh the cigarettes don’t taste the same as they used to’,” she said.
The minister said after World War II about 50 percent of Australians smoked but this had now dropped to 15 percent and the government was aiming to push it down to 10 percent by 2018.
The new legislation comes into force as a study conducted for the Cancer Council of Victoria found that one-in-four smokers believe the effects of tobacco on health are exaggerated.
The research looked at the impact of Australia’s health warnings on cigarette packages, which for years have included graphic images depicting health issues arising from smoking.
Its study of 4,500 smokers in Victoria state from 2003 to 2011 found that about a quarter still believed the dangers of smoking had been exaggerated and one in 10 did not believe or were not sure that smoking caused illness.
“From tomorrow, the outside of cigarette packaging will finally reflect the ugliness of what’s inside and leave no smoker in any doubt of how deadly cigarettes are,” Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said.
Sharkie said the graphic health warnings had already made a difference.
“While the main intent of plain packaging is to reduce the appeal of smoking among youth, we’ve already had several calls... from smokers who say the graphic health warnings have pushed them to quit,” she said.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australians, killing an estimated 15,000 every year.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

NAJRAN: Three members of the Saudi National Guard died in Rabuah, Najran, on Wednesday.National Guard spokesman Maj. Mohammed Omari identified them as Lt. Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Shehri, Lt. Faisal bin Talal Al-Toub and Lt. Saud bin Khaled Al-Rukhayye...
JEDDAH: Five people have been killed after an accident in Madinah province. The collision, between a car and an oil tanker, happened on Wednesday afternoon. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Upon arrival,the Civil Defense extinguished th...
RIYADH: The Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm and Operation Restoration of Hope have helped “defend the Islamic faith from the expansion of the Safavids,” said Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh on Tuesday.Speaking at a welcoming ceremony for scholar...
RIYADH: The Shoura Council has called on the Board of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) to effectively implement the agreements with countries on deporting prisoners, as this will result in saving SR1 billion per year.“The monthly expenses...
JEDDAH: The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on Tuesday said it is not against communication services and applications in the Kingdom, but telecom companies will have to respect the Kingdom’s rules and regulations.The teleco...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for the efforts the Kingdom has exerted in assisting coalition forces against Daesh.He also lauded the Saudi announcement that the count...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...

Stay Connected

Facebook