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Philip Morris sues Australian gov't over cigarette pack law

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© 2011 AFP

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Good for you Australia! Blaze the trail, next step is to just make tobacco illegal.

Go f%^*yourself Philip Morris!

-7 ( +6 / -12 )

Should be illegal but will never happen. There is already enough fake tobacco out there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The law demands all cigarettes be sold in drab olive-brown packets with large, graphic health warnings.

Yeah, okay, I don't smoke, but in this century, when all the dangers are known, this kind of thing crosses the line of where the government should stop. A health warning is fine, but dictating the colors of the package is ridiculous.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Farmboy,

I actually agree with you on this, packaging in Australia has for many years already had graphic pictures printed on them in addition to written warnings. Laws preventing smoking indoors, laws preventing smoking in some outdoor areas, laws stopping people smoking in their own cars and the list continues. What is having plain packaging going to achieve. It is just yet another example of Australia becoming a nanny country where the government rules every bit of your life and what you can and cant do. If the government is so determined to stop people smoking then easy ban them, but then they will miss out on their hundreds of millions of dollars they raise in tax.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Stop smoking! People don't smoke for the smoke, they smoke to see the flame when they light up, in my opinion.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Generic packaging won't stop people from smoking if they "choose" to, so why oppose it? But it will help stop kids from starting the habit. That is the good news. The bad news that if fewer kids start, lower profits for tobacco companies. Good news is lower health costs for the country. Lower health costs for the country verses more profits for tobacco companies while smokers can still keep puffing. Seems like a good idea to me!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Philip Morris may have a fairly tight case. By removing the packaging (as graphic as most of the label is) they've effectively rendered billions of dollars in intangible assets and investments virtually worthless. It would be like if all the cola companies had to start using the same color labels, loyal customers will still buy their favorite brands but it opens up the market to illegal trade from the chinese tobacco market. If it came from anywhere else I wouldn't mind but chinese tobacco is truely spectacular in how aweful it is.

People don't smoke for the smoke, they smoke to see the flame when they light up, in my opinion.

I smoke for the smoke. I've been smoking cigars since my mid-teens it's more of a hobby at this point...although my lighter is pretty cool.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“We are left with no option,” Philip Morris Asia (PMA) spokesperson Anne Edwards said in a statement received by AFP.

Translation: 'We have no options to viral market and kill further people'

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Though laws in Australia are a little to extreme and to much control on anything seems to be no different then commie ideology, at the end of the day, the individual should be mature enough what is right or wrong for their health.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

*to know what is right from wrong for their health.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually I support the Australian government on this. Adults may decide what is good or bad for their health but the major effect of this will be to prevent youngsters to get started and hooked up and that in itself is a great thing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It will argue it is unconstitutional for the government to remove its trademarks and other intellectual property without compensation.

It will be interesting to see how these court proceedings will go. The government will probably argue they are within their rights and responsibility to take any measures to limit the distribution of products that have been proven to be a health hazard, not only to the users but also to those involuntarily exposed to them.

the individual should be mature enough what is right or wrong for their health. [angloootaku]

Should. But he/she isn't. And the unacceptable health care costs of billions proves it. The measures of the Australian government may seem extreme, but I side with them in no longer allowing tobacco companies to have a free hand in marketing products that destroy people's health, raking in huge profits while the country spends huge amounts of money on tobacco related diseases.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sellers of death by addiction over decades...facts known by Phillip Morris for at least 60 years.

I've got a simple solution. Introduce a 1000% tax on all of their tobacco products until they comply, or withdraw their cancer sticks from the Australian shelves. They can afford it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ThaiGirl, problem with making it illegal is it sets up the criminals with a new product line. Make it non attractive, a bit costly and work at making it not the "in" thing for young people. Look at how well the war on drugs has worked? If people want to kill themselves, no law is going to prevent it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

anglootaku: "...at the end of the day, the individual should be mature enough what is right or wrong for their health."

And yet sadly they are not. What's more, their tossing away of their own health doesn't merely harm them, it costs the tax payers. I'm not sure making all the tobacco packs drab green will change much, but my hat's off to Australia for being strict and not giving in to big tobacco. I look forward to the day Japan mature's enough to actually stop paying lip service to itself in how it controls smoking and actually starts to control it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think the point is to make it as hard as possible for new smokers to start. Smokers will smoke, but an aspiring smoker for whatever reasons will find it hard as products are not advertised or displayed currently In Australia the uniform packaging will only hinder further a want to be smoker. Social engineering perhaps but reducing the health costs for treatment of smokers is the goal. As a society Australia has a health system that taxes everyone so reducing smoking related problems is actually beneficial for all. Not Communist just a care for all who live there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan still does not recognize a link between cancer and tobacco, why would they when the Government owns 50% of the local companies. Maybe in 20 years after exhaustive meetings and studies...might have a meeting to talk about this regrettable policy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And yet sadly they are not. What's more, their tossing away of their own health doesn't merely harm them, it costs the tax payers.

Ah yes, individual choice is fine up until it becomes and inconvenience to the collective. How orwellian.

Actually, I have an idea. The government should be able to put whatever restrictions they want on those on the public dole for healthcare. If you're using other people’s money you should live a more healthy and conscientious life. They should require no tobacco, no alcohol, no fast food, and a vegan diet.

Tobacco pollutes the lungs and heart. Alcohol dilutes the mind and damages a variety of organs. Meat consumption has a number of harmful effects and increases the likelihood of acquiring a food-borne disease. Refined sugars have virtually no nutritional benefit nor do the variety of preservatives and salts we use in our food. Honestly, it’s for the people's own good.

Meanwhile they should remove any and all restrictions on substance consumption for adults while on private property. Let the smokers go to smoking bars, that way if you smoke in a non-smoking establishment you get fined, and if you're on public healthcare you get fined if you go in a smoking establishment. I'll stay on my private healthcare and smoke and drink and eat all the terrible foods I love. The nonsmokers will live healthy and productive lives for the state and the unhealthy can do what they please until they eventually die out from cancer and heart disease, because healthy people don't die like unhealthy people right?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many years ago, one of my students worked for JT, not this JT but you know the BIG JT, Japan Tobacco and he was a researcher, he looked so tired all the time and stressed out, and I asked him just for fun, DO YOU SMOKE?? The poor guy, he looked around to make sure no one but I was listening to him and he said, NO WAY!! He researches on how bad smoking is for the human health and he told me he would NEVER EVER SMOKE knowing full well how bad it is, but that it was his job working there at JT and that he needed the $$$$ to support his family even though he felt very guilty that his company here in Japan was poisoning MILLIONS!!! So good on our Aussie mates fighting against those big bad evil cancer companies, oops! I mean tobacco companies!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

smithinjapan. yours is the failed argument used in the "war on drugs". All the "war" has done is turned a group of people into criminals and make things MORE not less dangerous. Now there are a lot of bad quality drugs on the market. Making the drugs illegal just made a product line for the criminal gangs to sell. Take away the profit and there would be no incentive for them to make new addicts. Again America's war on drugs is responsible for directly or indirectly killing thousands perhaps millions of people. It was started with the best "intentions" and the road to hell is paved with "good intentions".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Remove the glamour packaging. Ban all advertising and posters. Good move towards removing as much of the propaganda that makes smoking "cool".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“The government has passed this legislation despite being unable to demonstrate that it will be effective at reducing smoking and has ignored the widespread concerns raised in Australia and internationally regarding the serious legal issues associated with plain packaging.”

What they're REALLY concerned about is not the "plain packaging", but the graphic images on the plain packaging that show what that garbage can do to your body. The U.S. told Australia, "GREAT F-ING IDEA!" and passed a similar law, which the tobacco giants have managed to get an injunction against based on "free speech", so now they're going after Australia. I live in Virginia, tobacco capital of the world, and I wouldn't shed a single tear if they were all forced to shut their doors. "But what about the poor tobacco farmers?" whines the tobacco addicts. What about them? They can grow something else less destructive to their fellow human beings. Try corn or alfalfa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor, I agree with you about the pics. However a true addict would not care. Remember driving one of my relatives to the VA in Richmond Virginia. On one side of the street was tobacco storage and on the other side storage for former tobacco addicts or a cemetery.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Perhaps Australia should come up with an alternative, such as colourful packets, which would be sold through chemists to only registered addicts with a prescription.

I suppose a trade mark might have less value when it cannot be advertised. One could argue that it has a negative value when associated with an addictive substance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not even a smoker, but I sympathise with Philip Morris here. This is ridiculous. If they think tobacco should be illegal, then outlaw it! As long as it is a legal product, the government has no business to harrass producers and consumers like this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

" Health Minister Nicola Roxon has said the government is prepared for legal challenges to the law, which is designed to reduce smoking rates in the country where Canberra says 15,000 people die from smoking-related illness each year. ''Plain packaging means that the glamor is gone from smoking and cigarettes are now exposed for what they are: killer products that destroy thousands of Australian families,” she said after the passage of the law.'' "

Well, how about putting Nicola Roxon and her collegues under big burkhas? Then the glamour is gone, and they are exposed for what they are: plain vanilla politians who pass stupid laws.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And where will the hundreds of millions the government earns in taxes on smokes come from when the numbers of smokers drop? Maybe they can increase the carbon tax, or the gst, or the many other taxes these parasites hit the Australian public with

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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