A few weeks ago, I was very pleased to come across a certain piece of news – Australia became the first country in the world to pass legislation making plain cigarette packaging mandatory.
Four companies, British American Tobacco, Britain’s Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco, had challenged the laws claiming they would be an infringement on their intellectual property rights. Fortunately, Australia’s High Court ruled against their challenge, with the majority of 7 judges believing the laws did not breach Australia’s Constitution.
Therefore, as of December 1st, cigarettes in Australia will have to be sold in plain and logo-free dark brown packaging with graphic health warnings… hurray!
Some examples of what the new packaging will look like:
“We hope other nations follow Australia’s lead and eliminate the use of tobacco packaging as a marketing tool, to help reduce the global tobacco death toll — which is on track to reach half a billion people this century,” – Australia’s Cancer Council Chief Executive Ian Olver.
The World Health Organization has praised the decision and many countries around the world, including Britain, Canada and New Zealand, are closely watching the developments and some are even considering the same actions.
With the National Tobacco Campaign, plain packaging, and tax increases, the Australian government hopes to bring down smoking rates from the current 15.9% to 10% or less by 2018. That would be amazing.
Tobacco use is responsible for millions of deaths a year worldwide and is the leading cause of preventable death. I know many people smoke and for a number of different reasons, but ultimately – a smoker’s health (and the health of all those around them) would be significantly better without cigarettes.
Once determined, I believe every individual has the strength and will power to quit smoking. You’re never alone! There are so many ways to assist with your decision to quit… please don’t forget your GP is always there to help find the best plan for you. 🙂 And of course, remember to enlist your family and friends for their (hopefully amazing) support and encouragement!
I leave you with one of my favourite campaign posters in Australia:
There’s also a female version of this poster!