Could smoking be banned in Australian apartments?
The Australian government is proposing to pass some of the toughest anti-smoking legislation seen anywhere in the world.
The new laws could see all decoration removed from cigarette packets. Smoking may also be banned inside apartment buildings, if calls by anti-smoking campaign groups are heeded.
But strong resistance from the tobacco lobby could prevent the laws from ever coming into force.
Tobacco companies say the measures could be illegal. They argue it would damage the economy and rending branding meaningless, since all cigarette packets would look the same, with identical fonts, and with the brand name only featured on a small section of the packet.
However, health campaigners believe the move could have enormous benefits for public health. There has been rising concern about second-hand smoke (otherwise known as passive smoking) in Australia.
As is the case in many countries, smoking is a leading cause of serious illness and premature death in Australia.
The owners of condo buildings are concerned that residents may sue if they develop health problems due to other people in their apartment block smoking. New York authorities have recently imposed a ban on smoking in public, outdoor places, including in parks and along coastlines.
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