Australia's apex court on Wednesday gave a major blow to global tobacco giants by rejecting their challenge to tougher new plain-packaging laws.
With a sincere will to curb the increasing use of tobacco in the country, Australia is going to put ban on logos, branding, colors and any promotional text on tobacco packaging. The new, tougher laws will make tobacco companies to publish brand names in a standardized font on olive-brown-colored tobacco packs, while warnings with graphic images of the damaging effects of smoking will cover 75 per cent of the front and 90 per cent of the rear.
Big tobacco companies had been opposing the new plain-packaging laws, but the rejection of their challenge by the apex court put an end to all bluster and scaremongering by the tobacco industry in this particular case.
The High Court of Australia in Canberra said, "At least a majority of the court is of the opinion that the [tobacco packaging] act is not contrary" to the country's constitution.
The challenge to Australia's new, tougher tobacco laws had been brought by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International Inc., Imperial Tobacco Group and Japan Tobacco Inc. The four companies, combined, account for nearly 45 per cent of the global market, equal to roughly 5.5 trillion cigarettes per year.
As per the WHO estimates, as many as 5 million people die annually from diseases linked to tobacco.
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