UK votes to ban cigarette pack branding, industry threatens legal action
On March 11, 2015 Reuters reports that Britain’s parliament approved legislation on Wednesday to ban branding on cigarette packs, drawing immediate threats of legal action from the country’s $29 billion (19.43 billion pounds) tobacco industry. Aimed at improving public health and cutting the number of child smokers, the measure is likely to crimp tobacco company profits and emulates Australia, which in 2012 enacted a law forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging with images showing the damaging effects of smoking. Following in the footsteps of Australia, which two years ago enacted a law forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging, the British government will try to pass a law before May forcing tobacco firmsto sell cigarettes in plain packs.
Around 3.4% fewer cigarettes were sold in Australia in 2013, compared with 2012.
The tobacco industry has fiercely resisted the new law, arguing that plain packs infringe on the intellectual property rights covering brands.