Home | Industry & Reform | Nations looking to Australia on tobacco policy: Roxon

Nations looking to Australia on tobacco policy: Roxon

The government’s anti-smoking measures received high praise at UN summit says Roxon.

Plain packaging and other anti-smoking measures are getting Australia noticed in the global domain, said Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

The minister has returned from a United Nations health meeting in New York, where she said the federal government's plain packaging efforts had other attracted significant interest from delegates.

"We had countries from Norway and Uruguay, through to France and South Africa and the US, even New York mayor (Michael) Bloomberg, all interested in what we're doing," she told ABC Radio yesterday.

"There were lots of people wanting to know if they can use our graphic health warnings.

"The number of times that there was spontaneous applause when we were presenting this at different forums is an indication that our presentation and our action is striking a chord with other nations."

Legislation forcing all cigarettes to be sold in plain packets is due to pass the Senate during the next sitting in October.

Roxon was disappointed that the bill has stagnated in the upper house, but added its passage was now "just a matter of programming".

Tobacco companies continue to threaten to take the government to court over the matter, but Roxon said the government was not going to deterred.

"I was also able to meet with countries that are currently being sued by tobacco companies for other steps they're taking," she said.

"It's their usual course of business.

"I'm sure that part of the huffing and puffing from big tobacco companies is that they are terrified of other countries following us."


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