Praise for plain packaging move

A LEADING medical journal has hailed as “laudable” Australia’s plans for plain packaging of cigarettes and urged the Federal Government not to be deterred by growing international opposition.

An editorial in The Lancet Oncology said Australia’s initiative will likely set a precedent, with New Zealand, Canada, and the UK predicted to follow, and the US planning more prominent health warnings on packets from September next year.

However, the editorial warned that “the battle lines are drawn” on the issue, with opposition coming not only from the tobacco industry but developing countries including the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Philippines, Zambia and Mexico.

These countries have expressed concern about the trade implications of the draft law, suggesting it violated international agreement. .

“That [these countries] should align themselves with the tobacco industry’s

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