Public Health and Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Public Health and Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Legal Issues

Edited by Tania Voon, Andrew D. Mitchell, Jonathan Liberman and Glyn Ayres

The book offers an in-depth exploration of relevant domestic and international legal questions in fields such as intellectual property, constitutional law, health, trade and investment. The authors’ analysis sheds light on broader questions relating to the capacity of governments to regulate tobacco products and the tobacco industry, and to regulate in the interests of public health more generally. The answers to these questions are of vital interest not only to Australia but also to the international community, with states’ regulatory sovereignty increasingly being challenged in local and international courts and tribunals.

Chapter 9: Plain Packaging in a Broader Regulatory Framework: Preventing False Claims and Investor–State Lobbying

Thomas A. Faunce

Subjects: law - academic, health law, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law, international investment law, public international law


Thomas A. Faunce BACKGROUND: THE AUSTRALIAN PLAIN PACKAGING LEGISLATION I. The Australian plain packaging of cigarettes legislation (Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011) is part of a raft of measures designed to reduce smoking in Australia that accord with the World Health Organization (‘WHO’) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control1 (‘FCTC’). The explanatory memorandum to the legislation explains that, despite decades of anti-smoking campaigns, tobacco smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease among Australians (killing over 15 000 every year). The costs of smoking to state and federal governments (including hospitalisation and medicines) are over AU$30 billion each year. The value of packaging of tobacco products has increased as traditional forms of cigarette advertising and promotion have become restricted in countries such as Australia.2 The packaging of cigarettes promotes brand appeal, while plain packaging has been proven less appealing amongst the young. Many smokers are also misled by pack design into thinking that certain cigarettes are more sophisticated, or may be safer.3 1 2302 UNTS 166 (adopted 21 May 2003, entered into force 27 February 2005). 2 David Hammond et al, ‘Cigarette Pack Design and Perceptions of Risk among UK Adults and Youth’ (2009) 19 European Journal of Public Health 631. 3 David Hammond and Carla Parkinson, ‘The Impact of Cigarette Package Design on Perceptions of Risk’ (2009) 31 Journal of Public Health 345; Melanie Wakefield et al, ‘The Cigarette Pack as Image: New Evidence from Tobacco Industry Documents’ (2002) 11(Suppl 1) Tobacco Control i73....

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