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WTO talks about plain packaging

Clear the Air says : Tobacco companies facilitate the smuggling of their own products into the illicit market. Fact. DNP / General Cargo destroys Governments’ excise tax smoking preventative measures – all tobacco companies should be forced to add track and trace technology to each master carton and each pack should have a high security Tax stamp on its plain surface that is not covered by graphic warnings. This will be costly and will no doubt the cost will be passed on to the consumer thus making cigarettes even less affordable.

WTO talks about plain packaging

Peter Veness

June 9, 2011 – 7:54AM


The federal government’s plan for plain packaging of cigarettes has met resistance in the World Trade Organisation.

Nations from Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa have formed a small group to oppose the move which the federal government says is part of its attempts to cut tobacco use.

The Dominican Republic told the organisation’s intellectual property council meeting the plain packaging would actually lead to a price drop.

“It would fail to reduce smoking because the lower costs of the packaging and the competition on price – the only remaining marketing tool available would make cigarettes cheaper and encourage higher consumption,” the Dominican Republic said.

Support for the Dominican Republic came from Honduras, Nicaragua, Ukraine, the Philippines, Zambia, Mexico, Cuba and Ecuador.

Canberra was backed by New Zealand, Uruguay and Norway while India, a potential free trade partner, told the meeting there was evidence plain packaging did cut smoking rates.

On Wednesday, tobacco giant British American Tobacco won the right to bring forward the date of an appeal it hopes will provide it access to legal advice obtained by the government.

The issue has been accompanied by a wider debate on political parties accepting donations from tobacco companies.

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