Plainly, cigarette packets get the stub

Sid Maher; 29/4/10

Cigarettes will be sold in plain packages from January 2012 as Kevin Rudd introduces the world’s most draconian anti-smoking laws, in a move likely to spark a legal challenge from multinational tobacco companies. The move, said to be a world first, is expected to be accompanied by a hike in the tobacco tax in the budget, as the Rudd government moves to drive down smoking rates to 10 per cent of the population within the next eight years. Part of the increased excise could be used to offset some of the $5.4 billion in incentives the Prime Minister handed to premiers as part of the health reform package agreed to this month by every state except Western Australia. The new laws will prohibit the use of tobacco industry logos, colours, brand imagery or promotional text on all packaging of tobacco products.