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High Court decision allows Australia to lead the way on tobacco

Today’s High Court ruling confirming the constitutional validity of the Federal Government’s plain packaging laws is a huge victory for the health and wellbeing of Australians says AMA Victoria.

The decision will make Australia a world leader in controlling the marketing of tobacco products and is handed down in the face of a massive effort from big tobacco to prevent the laws.

“This is a great day for the public health of Australia” said AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis.

“This legislation is ground breaking, there are already other countries looking at following Australia’s lead on this”.

The court’s confirmation that the laws are valid means the Government can impose a ban on all brand names and logos on cigarette packets from December this year.

This means that graphic health warnings will dominate olive coloured cigarette packets and manufacturers' brand names will only be included in a small generic font.

“The Australian people have stood up to big tobacco and prevailed on plain packaging” said Dr Parnis.

“We hope these laws will drive down the appeal of tobacco use for young people and reduce the amount of tobacco related harm we see in our hospital system”.

“Smoking is still the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. Almost 4000 Victorian users die from tobacco related illnesses each year.  Half of all long-term smokers will die because of their smoking”. 

“This is a great day for public health in this country, but the fight against tobacco is by no means over”.

“As well as destroying the lives of otherwise healthy people, tobacco use puts a serious and unnecessary strain on our health system. This is why AMAV will continue to push hard for any measure that reduces tobacco use”.

For more information please contact Struan Robertson on 0437 450 506

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