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Hong Kong may follow Australia in plain tobacco packs fight

The Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, a government agency, is advocating for the implementation of a tobacco plain packaging law, reports IP Dragon

Current Hong Kong law requires that pictorial health warnings cover half of the two main sides of a cigarette pack.

The Council’s recommendation would increase the size of the health warnings to 75% of the main of the front and back of the pack. Also, all logos and marks would be removed and replaced by the brand name displayed in a standard font, size, colour, and location on the pack.

Australia passed its plain pack law in November 2011, with New Zealand and the UK exploring versions of similar legislation.

Tobacco companies are challenging the Australian law in the Australian High Court and in arbitration for violation of the Australia-Hong Kong Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Ukraine has also launched WTO proceedings claiming that the law violates both TRIPs and GATT, the umbrella agreement covering trade in goods.

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