Tobacco to remain branded for now

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the industry needed time to implement the world-first measure.

“I think that it is important that industry gets a reasonable time frame to make an orderly transition to plain packaging,” she said in a statement last week.

The laws, which will see all tobacco products sold in plain packaging from 1 December next year, were initially to have come into effect from 1 July.

Offences relating to the manufacture of products that don’t comply with the plain packaging laws in Australia will also be delayed and will start on 1 October.

The government hopes the pioneering legislation will help reduce smoking rates to below 10%.

Public Health Association of Australia spokesperson Professor Mike Daube said while the delay was unfortunate, the most important outcome was the introduction of the “long overdue” laws, which health experts had been waiting for for more than