Marlboro Box Defaced in Australia Where Future Is Now


The future of cigarette packages is on display in Australia, and it’s not that attractive: big, graphic pictures of gangrenous limbs and cancer victims, with brand names printed out in a standard font on a background officially identified as “drab dark brown.”

Tobacco products corresponding to the world’s first plain packaging rules have begun coming in shops, as an Oct. 1 producing ban on the country’s A$10 billion ($10 billion) tobacco industry becomes operational. While a US court in August denied the first change to that country’s tobacco health warnings in more than 2 decades, more strict plain packaging regulations like Australia’s are already being reviewed in the UK, New Zealand, Turkey, and the European Union.

Margaret Chan, the World Health Organization’s director-general, stated that she thinks that other countries will follow Australia’s measure.

Government standards established the pictures and cigarette warnings that must cover 75 % of the front of cigarette packaging – a gangrenous foot, a tongue cancer, a toilet stained with bloody urine and a skeletal man named Bryan dying of lung cancer. Additional warnings need to be placed on the sides and cover 90 % of the back.

On October 5, the High Court of Australia published its motives for disregarding a challenge from cigarette makers that stated the government illegally took over their intellectual property without proper compensation.

Chief Justice Robert French, who directed the judge’s panel, said in a 6-1 decision that as the government did not profit from the removal of the logos, it did not have to compensate the companies and that the law was appropriate.

By demanding so much of the packaging to significantly demonstrate that smoking is neither attractive nor safe, health officials are sure that they can create a better prevention than the current pictures that previously graced Australian packs.

“The images are becoming larger. You can’t pay no attention to it,” said Ash Alhusban, co-manager of Opera Convenience, a small store 500 meters from the city’s opera house. “When I saw them I said, believe me, I will do my best to quit smoking.”


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