Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big Tobacco loses in Australia

When Australia introduced a plain packaging law, Big Tobacco was outraged, and threatened to challenge it on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional taking of their property. Well, they did - and today they lost, with the Australian high Court ruling that the law was constitutional:

The federal government has secured a big win over big tobacco with the High Court ruling Labor’s world-first plain packaging laws are constitutionally valid.

The decision is expected to have significant influence globally with both the United Kingdom and New Zealand considering plain packaging.

Health experts have hailed the decision as a major victory for global health.

The full decision will be released later, and will no doubt be subject to appeal as Big Tobacco fights for its "right" to keep its customers ignorant of the nature of their product - but its still an important victory. And hopefully it will strengthen our own government's resolve on this issue.