Skip to main content

Australia moves to ban logos on cigarette packs

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Australian smokers stock up
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia could become first country to strip logos and designs from cigarette packages
  • By July 2012, all cigarettes will be sold in plain packs carrying graphic health warnings
  • Cigarette companies say they are looking at legal options to fight initiative
  • Health minister says legislation will be drafted to withstand legal challenges
RELATED TOPICS
  • Australia
  • Kevin Rudd

(CNN) -- Australia could become the first country in the world to require cigarette packages to be stripped of logos and designs.

By July 2012, all cigarettes in the country will be sold in plain packs carrying graphic warnings against smoking, according to an anti-smoking initiative announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's office.

"Now the big tobacco companies are going to go out there and whinge, whine, complain, consider every form of legal action known to man," Rudd told reporters. "That's par for course. We, the government, will not be intimidated by any big tobacco company trying to get in the road of doing the right thing."

Health Minister Nicola Roxon told CNN affiliate and public broadcaster, ABC, that the legislation will be drafted to withstand legal challenges from tobacco companies.

"We have firm advice that this action can be taken. Our legislation will be very carefully drafted," she said.

Cigarette companies have said they are looking at legal options, worried the law will cut into their profits.

"Introducing plain packaging just takes away the ability of a consumer to identify our brand from another brand and that's of value to us," Cathie Keogh, a spokeswoman for Imperial Tobacco Australia, told ABC Radio.