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Australia’s High Court Upholds World’s First Law Requiring Plain Cigarette Packs

August 15, 2012

Delivering an historic victory in the global fight against tobacco, Australia’s highest court has upheld the world’s first law requiring that all cigarettes and other tobacco products be sold in plain packaging, free of colorful logos and other branding. The High Court rejected a challenge by the tobacco industry, allowing Australia to move forward with requiring the plain packs starting on December 1.

The ruling was the culmination of a long battle to enact the plain packaging law. Other countries, including New Zealand and the United Kingdom, are already looking to follow Australia’s lead.

“This is a watershed moment for tobacco control around the world,” Australia’s Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a joint statement.

“The message to the rest of the world is big tobacco can be taken on and beaten…. Today should be a clarion call to every country grappling with the costs and harms of tobacco and hopefully encourage them to take the next tobacco control steps appropriate for them.”

Read our statement on the ruling.

Examples of Plain Cigarette Packaging