Plain packaging rules extended to all tobacco products
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Plain packaging rules extended to all tobacco products

The Australian government has published an amendment to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011, broadening its parameters to apply to non-cigarette tobacco products.

The Regulations initially set out requirements for the retail packaging and appearance of cigarettes only, and did not apply to non-cigarette tobacco merchandise.

The amendments now include definitions of bidi, cigar, cigar tube and pouch, which are consistent with the definitions found in the Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011.

The amendment added three new regulations which describe proposed features of non-cigarette tobacco product packaging. These include strict dimensions for non-cigarette tobacco packages, and the outlawing of tobacco packs from having a transparent or cut-out area that reveals its contents before it is opened.

Plain packaging legislation was passed by the Australian government in November last year, and has been met with stiff resistance by tobacco companies, which claim that the legislation breaches Australia’s commitments under the TRIPs Agreement and will make it easier for cigarette packs to be counterfeited.

Earlier this week, Ukraine launched a legal offensive at the WTO against Australia’s plain packaging legislation.

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