WHO hopes plain packaging will go global

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has applauded the High Court's decision to uphold the Federal Government's plain packaging laws for cigarettes, and hopes the ruling will have a global domino effect. Yesterday the High Court rejected big tobacco's bid to overturn the plain packaging laws, which require cigarettes to be sold in olive green packets without trademarks and with graphic health warnings. Australia will now become the first country to introduce mandatory plain packing for tobacco products. The United Nations health agency has labelled the High Court decision a "landmark" ruling. WHO director-general Margaret Chan says the plain packaging laws will be "a highly effective way to counter the (tobacco) industry's ruthless marketing tactics", and describes the lawsuits filed by big tobacco companies as the death throes of a desperate industry. WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas says the ruling shows big tobacco companies can be defeated.

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