The decision of the Arbitration Tribunal to reject the Philip Morris tobacco company case against plain packaging on the basis of a trade treaty with Hong Kong is a great win for health and yet another defeat for big tobacco, according to the Public Health Association of Australia.
The Tribunal has unanimously agreed with the Australian Government’s position on jurisdiction and rejected the Philip Morris Asia claim.
PHAA tobacco spokesperson Professor Mike Daube, who chaired the Australian Government’s expert committee that recommended plain packaging says, “This is a massive win for public health. The tobacco industry’s desperate legal efforts have failed yet again.
“They are the big losers, but the thousands who will not die from smoking are the winners. The tobacco companies are desperate to prevent plain packaging here and internationally because they know it works.”
PHAA Chief Executive Michael Moore says, “This is the best Christmas present for public health nationally and internationally.
“Smoking in Australia is falling in adults, in children and by tobacco volume sales.
“Now the tobacco companies have lost another crucial legal bid to stop this life-saving measure. The message is loud and clear – plain packaging works, and it is here to stay”.
Meanwhile, France has just passed a plain packaging law which will see logos removed from cigarette packaging from May 2016, with brand names visible only in small, uniform font.