Australia’s New Cigarette Laws

Hahahaha, I knew this would happen. The Australians sanctioned a new law that removes all the ‘glamour’ from cigarette packaging; and Philip Morris for one aren’t happy.

Philip Morris sues Australia over cigarette packaging

Under the new law, brand names will appear in the same position, font, size and colour on packets

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing the Australian government over a new law making plain packaging mandatory for cigarettes from December 2012.

Australia’s parliament has passed legislation that means all tobacco will need to be sold in plain olive-brown packets with graphic health warnings.

Canberra said the law was “one of the most momentous public health measures in Australia’s history”.

But Philip Morris Asia said the move breached a bilateral investment treaty.

It said it had served a notice of arbitration under Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong.

PMA’s Australian affiliate Philip Morris Ltd (PML) will also pursue claims under Australian domestic law.

‘Nanny state’ claim

PMA is arguing that removing its trademarks from tobacco packaging will cut its profits and see fake brands flood the market.

Spokesperson Anne Edwards said: “The government has passed this legislation despite being unable to demonstrate that it will be effective at reducing smoking and has ignored the widespread concerns raised in Australia and internationally regarding the serious legal issues associated with plain packaging.”

PMA said it wanted the legislation to be suspended. It said it would ask for compensation for the billions of dollars it said the new law would cost it.

British American Tobacco, another big cigarette company, has previously said that the legislation infringes international trademark and intellectual property laws.

Under the new law, the only thing distinguishing tobacco brands on packets will be the brand and product name in a standard colour, position, font size and style.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

It has long been my contention that using images like this (depicted above), and I have seen more horrific, is an infringement on personal freedom by forcing people, smokers and non-smokers and impressionable children to view this distasteful form of warning. The laws should have been challenged years ago, and the governments should have had their arses sued off. These depictions are worse than pornography, almost akin to ‘snuff movies’.

I am a smoker. I smoke by choice. I detest these images and use a cardboard slip inside the cellophane to cover them.

Both my grandfathers smoked heavily from an early age, 13 or 14, one died at 90 and the other at 92. They were btw heavy drinkers too. Neither of them had cancer, had heart problems nor did they die from tobacco related illnesses, their bodies just wore out as bodies do.

I recognise that the tobacco they smoked (neither used manufactured cigarettes) was less damaging than the ‘tailor-mades’ of today. The argument should be that the companies stop putting their additives like potassium nitrate (a known carcinogen) to ensure even burning and the like. God knows what else they put in them.

These draconian measures of Australia and other countries is a case of barking up the wrong tree. And people still haven’t learnt that if you ban something, anything, or restrict it in anyway, it becomes becomes immediately more attractive. You only have to look at the explosion of marijuana use once the Americans made all forms hemp illegal.Another example is the American era of Prohibition; alcohol consumption increased dramatically, until they removed the Prohibition and it fell to its previous levels.

This is just another case of the ‘do-gooders’ having no idea of reality.

 

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  1. #1 by Hugo Banter on December 3, 2011 - 11:40 pm

    I am with you on this one. This is a bloody outrage.
    The Aussies are usually so tolerant and level-headed, what the hell are thinking about. Talk about a Nanny-State. Grrrrrr

    Toodle-00
    Hugo xx

    • #2 by argentumvulgaris on December 3, 2011 - 11:47 pm

      @Hugo, thanks for the visit and comment. Nanny-State, exactly. We’re big boys now, we don’t need permission to go out and play.

      AV

    • #3 by argentumvulgaris on December 3, 2011 - 11:53 pm

      @Hugo, love the start of your blog, have added the link.

      AV

      • #4 by Hugo Banter on December 4, 2011 - 12:07 am

        @AV Jolly decent of you old chap

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