Public Health Association on Plain Packaging Win


Yesterday’s High Court decision that tobacco plain packaging can proceed is a massive win for public health. It is also the global tobacco industry’s worst defeat yet, and will have global ramifications.

President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Professor Mike Daube (who chaired the Federal Government’s expert committee that recommended plain packaging) said, “This is a massive win for public health – and the worst defeat yet for Big Tobacco. The global tobacco companies have opposed plain packaging more ferociously than any other measure we have seen. They know that plain packaging will have a major impact on smoking here – and that other countries will now follow.”


“The High Court has slammed the door on the tobacco industry’s desperate attempts to oppose a measure they know will reduce their sales and Australia’s tobacco death toll. We know from the companies’ own internal documents that packaging is a crucial part of their marketing. They have now lost their last means of promoting smoking to adults and children. This truly is a life-saving victory for public health.”


“The High Court decision is absolute vindication of the Government’s position. Since we learned about the dangers of smoking, cigarettes have killed one million Australians, in large part because of the activities of the world’s most lethal industry. With advent of plain packaging in December, Australia can look forward to leading the world in becoming smoke-free. ”


CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, Michael Moore said, “We should celebrate the victory of public health over a toxic industry. Tobacco companies have used every possible trick and mechanism to oppose plain packaging, which will help prevent children from starting to smoke and encourage adults to quit.”


“We can take immense heart from knowing that even the massive resources of a global industry cannot buy government policy or High Court decisions. Yesterday was a great day for public health in Australia, and for the politicians of all parties and coalitions of health groups who worked so hard to make it happen.”