World-Leading Plain Packaging Legislation Passes House of Representatives
The Australian Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation has passed through the House of Representatives, as Australia moves one step closer to implementing plain packaging of tobacco from 1 January 2012.
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24 August 2011
The Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation has passed through the House of Representatives today, as Australia moves one step closer to implementing plain packaging of tobacco from 1 January 2012.
“Today Australia’s Parliament took the first courageous step towards legislating plain packaging of tobacco,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.
“Plain packaging will remove the last remaining form of tobacco advertising in Australia.
“We know that packaging is a very powerful marketing tool for tobacco companies to recruit new smokers to their deadly products. In the future, cigarette packets will now only serve as a stark reminder of the devastating health effects of smoking.
“Big tobacco is vigorously fighting against this legislation for one very simple reason – because they know, as we do, that it will work. While they are fighting to protect their profits, we are fighting to protect lives.”
Minister Roxon expressed her disappointment, however, that Tony Abbott refused to back both pieces of Government’s plain packaging legislation.
“Mr Abbott has never been a true believer in plain packaging, and we saw this today when he let his members off the leash as they put their true feelings of plain packaging on the record.
“The Australian people heard today from Tony Abbott’s disciples that ‘life’ and not just tobacco kills people and for this reason we should sit back and do nothing.
“We were also told by the Opposition there was ‘no credible argument’ for plain packaging, despite all MPs today receiving letters from 260 professors of health and medicine urging MPs to support plain packaging.
“It’s clear that today we scratched the skin of the Opposition and the extreme right oozed out of the wound.
“The stark reality is some 15,000 people die each year from this deadly product. That’s 15,000 people who don’t get to see their son or daughter married, or their first grandchild born.
“But sadly 15,000 reasons weren’t enough for Tony Abbott and his party, as they stood opposed to the Government’s package of legislation.”
The Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation comprises two Bills, the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 and Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011.
Both Bills passed through the House of Representatives today with the support of the Australian Greens, and independent Members of Parliament Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, Tony Crook and Andrew Wilkie.
For more information, contact the Minister's Office on (02) 6277 7220
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