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Cigarette plain packaging laws pass Parliament

Tobacco Plain Packaging legislation passes in Australia.

(Now Hong Kong’s Administration should have the political will to follow Australia’s lead.)

One example of the 'ugly' cigarette packet packaging unveiled by the Federal Government

The Federal Government’s plain packaging laws for cigarettes have now passed both houses of Parliament.

The Senate agreed to the legislation earlier this month but made a number of amendments, including to the start date, and sent the legislation back to the Lower House.

The House of Representatives has now voted to support the changes.

The legislation means cigarettes will have to be sold in generic dark green packets from December next year, six months later than the original time frame.

Pictures of diseased body parts, sickly babies and dying people will cover 75 per cent of each packet, and tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text will be banned.

Since it was announced last year, the plan has faced fierce opposition from tobacco companies who have vowed to mount a court challenge against the legislation.

Australia will become the first country to introduce plain packaging laws.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates 15,500 Australians are killed by tobacco-related diseases every year and says passive smoking affects the health of children.

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