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New cigarette packs put end to glamour associations with smoking

Thursday 7 April, 2011

Quit has welcomed news that the Federal Government will release draft plain packaging legislation today putting Australia just months away from passing the landmark health bill.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the proposed dull, plain packaging with enlarged graphic health warnings will stop the tobacco industry from using packs as mobile mini billboards that spruik their deadly product.

"As other forms of tobacco advertising have been banned, cigarette packaging has become the key avenue the industry has to recruit new smokers. We should all be proud that the Government is putting an end to this form of promotion."

"Cigarettes kill half of all long-term smokers. They're not normal consumer products, so we shouldn't allow them to be packaged as such," Ms Sharkie said.

Ms Sharkie said the significance of plain packaging, as a tobacco control reform, couldn't be underestimated.

"The introduction of plain packaging should be a key priority of any government seeking to reduce the devastating toll of tobacco. There is nothing attractive about smoking-caused disease and the packs should reflect this."

Ms Sharkie said it was imperative that all members of parliament supported the legislation. "We've already seen desperate attempts by the tobacco industry to stop this potentially lifesaving policy from getting through parliament in the next few months."

"Despite what they may say, this is not about tobacco companies caring about shopkeeper's livelihoods or about smokers civil liberties. This is all about big tobacco protecting big profits."

Find out the facts about plain packaging of cigarettes, including a summary of research evidence.