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Australia enacts world's first ban on branded cigarette packaging

The Australian Health Minister announced today that the country is banning advertising on cigarette packaging, in an effort to "reduce the attractiveness and potential of packaging to mislead the public." From Bloomberg:

Laws to mandate plain packaging, which prevent the use of company logos, brand imagery or promotional text, will be introduced in the next 18 months, Roxon said in a statement issued today. The packets will display only health warnings and basic product information for retailers, [Nicola Roxon] said.

Cigarette use, which is responsible for 5 million deaths worldwide each year, is the leading preventable cause of death. The goal of the Austalian ban - the world's first - is to save lives by cutting the rate of smokers to 10 percent or less of the adult population.

Photo by m.a.r.c.

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