Australia postpones introduction of plain tobacco packaging

2 November 2011 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2011 18:30)

Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon has announced that the country will hold implementation of its plain tobacco packaging laws for five months, giving tobacco firms extra time to prepare.

Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon has announced that the country will hold implementation of its plain tobacco packaging laws for five months, giving tobacco firms extra time to prepare.

The plain packaging cigarettes plan have been passed by the Lower House, but the government decided to push the legislation from July 2012 back to December.

Under the new law, cigarette packets will be a bland olive-green with graphic health warning pictures printed on them, including black, diseased gums, blinded eyes and hospitalised children.

The law also requires all logos to be removed from cigarette packaging, with company brand names printed in a uniform font and aims to reduce Australia's 15,000 annual smoking-related deaths.

Australia's move is closely being watched in Britain, Europe, Canada and New Zealand, which are considering similar moves to help fight smoking and smoking-related health issues.

If enforced, Australia will become the first country in the world to ban logos and brand names from cigarette packaging.