Australia is the first country in the world to enforce new packaging laws on cigarette manufacturers.
Now, all motives, logos, colours and slogans on cigarette packets have been replaced with uniform greens and browns accompanied by gruesome pictures of tumours and anti-smoking messages.
Australia’s Health Minister Tanya Plibesek said: “This is the last gasp of a dying industry.”
Anne Jones of anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said plain packaging took the ‘personality’ out of the cigarettes and de-glamorised smoking.
In 1976 Australia banned cigarette manufacturers from advertising on television and radio and in 1989 newspapers followed suit.
Now, over three decades later, the last avenue of branding for cigarettes has been closed.
It is hoped the changes in regulation will help bring smoking levels down from the 16% recorded in 2007, to just 10% in 2018.
Last year an Australian cancer organisation found that packaging played an important role in the allure of cigarettes. One young boy said the red on one brand reminded him of a flashy sports car, while a girl was attracted to a pink packet.
Of course, the changes have not come without backlash from the tobacco companies. Companies including British American Tobacco (BAT), Imperial Tobacco and Phillip Morris launched an extensive media campaign to highlight the shortcomings of plain packaging.
Now France, Norway, India, New Zealand and Britain are watching Australia’s progress with interest.
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