Australia plans first no-brand cigarette packets

Tobacco curbs

Australia plans first no-brand cigarette packets

Cigarettes will be sold in plain, standardised packages carrying large, graphic warnings against smoking — and the brand name in small print — from 2012, under proposed new legislation.

The government also sharply raised taxes on cigarettes by 25 per cent from midnight on Thursday, adding about two dollars to a packet of 30, with the proceeds ploughed in to healthcare.

It ain’t cool

“Cigarettes are not cool, cigarettes kill people,” said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. “This will be the most hardline regime for cigarette packaging anywhere in the world,” he added. Rudd said Australia also planned new curbs on Internet tobacco advertising and would spend 27.8 million dollars on a “hard-hitting” anti-smoking campaign.

“The big tobacco companies will hate what we are doing,” he said. “The government however makes no apology what for what we are doing — it is the right decision.”

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