2012年08月17日(Fri) 12:47 by drharasho



WHO welcomes landmark decision from Australia's High Court on tobacco plain packaging act

Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan 
15 August 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly welcomes 
the landmark decision from Australia’s High Court to dismiss 
a legal challenge from the tobacco industry, and calls on the rest 
of the world to follow Australia’s tough stance on tobacco marketing.

Several major tobacco companies challenged Australia’s 
legislation to require cigarettes and other tobacco products to 
be sold in plain packaging without any branding. But the industry’s 
attempt to derail this effective tobacco control measure failed. 

As of December 2012, Australia will be the first country to sell 
cigarettes in drab, olive-green packaging without branding.

With Australia’s victory, public health enters a brave new 
world of tobacco control. Plain packaging is a highly effective 
way to counter industry’s ruthless marketing tactics. It is also 
fully in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco 
Control. The lawsuits filed by Big Tobacco look like the death
 throes of a desperate industry. With so many countries lined 
up to ride on Australia’s coattails, what we hope to see is 
a domino effect for the good of public health.

The case is being watched closely by several other countries 
who are considering similar measures to help fight tobacco.

The evidence on the positive health impact of plain packaging 
compiled by Australia’s High Court will benefit other countries 
in their efforts to develop and implement strong tobacco control 
measures to protect the health of their people and to stand resolute 
against the advances of the tobacco industry.

Tobacco use is one of the most preventable public health threats.
 Tobacco products will eventually kill up to half of the people 
who use them – that means nearly six million people die each 
year. If governments do not take strong action to limit exposures
 to tobacco, by 2030 it could kill more than eight million people 
each year.

The WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control entered 
into force in 2005. Parties are obliged over time to take a number 
of steps to reduce demand and supply for tobacco products including:
 protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke, counteracting 
illicit trade, banning advertising, promotion and sponsorship, 
banning sales to minors, putting large health warnings on packages 
of tobacco, increasing tobacco taxes and creating a national 
coordinating mechanism for tobacco control. More than 170 countries
 are Parties to the Convention.