ACOSH welcomes decision to allow plain packaging to stay

18 December 2015

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) is thrilled the Philip Morris Asia’s challenge to the Australian Government on tobacco plain packaging laws has failed, labelling it a win for the health of all Australians.

The Tribunal in the arbitration brought by Philip Morris Asia challenging Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws issued a decision unanimously agreeing with Australia’s position that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris’s claim.

President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health said this decision sets a strong precedent that plain packaging is here to stay.

“This ruling shows that despite the tobacco companies’ strong opposition and efforts to stop plain packaging, common sense prevails – because plain packaging works,” said Mr Swanson.

“Big Tobacco has now been defeated in two legal challenges – in the High Court of Australia and under an international investment treaty.

“Plain packaging, regular increases in tobacco tax and smoke-free areas, among other measures, have all played a critical role in driving down Australia’s smoking rates, now at just 12%.

“It cannot be denied that smoking takes its toll on the health of so many Australians and their families, and is a leading cause of heart disease, the number one killer of Australian men and women.

“This landmark decision truly highlights the Government’s commitment to strong action in prevention, and the Government, in particular Health Minister Sussan Ley and Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash should be commended for remaining steadfast in its approach despite strong opposition from a lethal industry.”


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Media contact: Maurice Swanson, President of ACOSH, 0401 090 915