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Plain packaging bill passed in a landmark day for Australian tobacco control

Wednesday 24 August, 2011

Australia looks set to the first country in the world to adopt plain packaging on cigarettes after the Plain Packaging Bill was passed in Canberra this evening.

Quit's Executive Director Fiona Sharkie applauded parliamentarians from both sides of politics for supporting the bill, especially in the face of huge pressure and campaigning from the tobacco industry.

"The tobacco industry has thrown all their power and resources into undermining and attempting to block this important public health reform."

"This evening's events in Canberra not only mark a huge step forward for the future health of Australians but will have global significance in the fight to curb the devastating toll of tobacco."

Ms Sharkie said the importance of plain packaging on cigarettes could not be overestimated.

"Traditional forms of advertising are banned so cigarette packs have become the main vehicle for tobacco industry marketing, serving as almost a mini billboard for the brand."

"Research shows plain packaging will make smoking less attractive, especially to young people. This major tobacco control reform is a vital step in reducing the desirability of a product that kills one in every two long-term users."