Smokefree generation within reach after High Court upholds plain packaging

Wednesday 15 August, 2012

Australia is one step closer to realising a smokefree generation after the High Court rejected the tobacco industry's challenge to plain packaging laws, Quit Victoria Policy Manager Kylie Lindorff said today.

"Today's judgement has not only upheld the Australian government's right to protect the health of its citizens, it has also removed the tobacco industry's last remaining advertising stronghold," she said.

"Big Tobacco knows this crucial public health reform will work, which is why they've thrown a lot of money and resources into fighting it."

Ms Lindorff said the Australian Government's determination in the face of a campaign of misinformation and sneaky tactics by the tobacco industry had been unshakeable.

"This world-first reform means the next generation of Australians will never be exposed to or deceived by tobacco advertising and that step will go a long way towards ensuring the nation's youth will not be seduced into taking up this deadly habit," she said.

"Anyone under 30 has never seen a tobacco TV commercial and now the tobacco industry will no longer be able to dress up their deadly product through colours and branding to seem glamorous or sophisticated."

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said the landmark decision would provide hope and confidence to other governments around the world who were considering plain packaging including the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

"This world-first legislation has been upheld despite the tobacco industry's best efforts to overturn it in a bid to recruit a new generation of smokers and future cancer sufferers," he said.

Mr Harper said today's decision was proof governments around the world must stand strong in the face of intimidation by litigation from Big Tobacco.

"The tobacco industry will continue to use the legal system to undermine public health policy that protects people from the deadly effects of tobacco," he said.

"They've shown through this court case that while they are prepared to spend big bucks to protect their bottom line, they have no regard for the 15,000 lives lost every year to smoking."