A Clean Bill of Health – Plain Packaging to Help Locals Quit

Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs, today joined Frankston Mornington Peninsula Medicare Local Chief Executive, Robyn Whyte, in welcoming the decision of the High Court to reject the legal challenge by big tobacco against Australia's world-leading plain packaging laws.

Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs, today joined Frankston Mornington Peninsula Medicare Local Chief Executive, Robyn Whyte, in welcoming the decision of the High Court to reject the legal challenge by big tobacco against Australia's world-leading plain packaging laws.

Mr Dreyfus said the High Court decision was a victory for all families in the Frankston and Mornington region who had lost a family member to, or knew someone suffering from, a tobacco-related illness.

"This decision is a relief for every parent who worries about their child picking up this deadly and addictive habit. The Gillard Government recognises the importance of good health and has acted decisively to deliver this preventative health measure," Mr Dreyfus said.

Ms Whyte said Frankston Mornington Peninsula Medicare Local is delighted at the decision to uphold legislation for plain packaging for cigarettes.

"Much work has already been done at grassroots level on the Peninsula around smoking cessation including some good programs by Peninsula Health," Ms Whyte said.

"This latest decision will drive this momentum even further and make a big difference to the health of people of all ages, either currently smoking or suffering the effects of passive smoking."

Mr Dreyfus said in years to come this measure will mean a reduction in cancer rates and emphysema and less pressure on the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula's health system."

"Plain packaging will restrict tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text appearing on packs," Mr Dreyfus said.

"By 1 December 2012 all tobacco products sold in Australia must be in plain packaging. Brand and product names will be a standard colour, position, font size and style. Plain Packaging removes the last means by which big tobacco can promote its deadly products."

"Big tobacco threw everything they could to try to stop this reform. But, the High Court has upheld an Australian law to protect Australians from the harm of smoking," he said.

"The message is that big tobacco can be taken on and beaten. Without brave governments willing to act decisively and take the fight up to big tobacco, they'd still have us believing that tobacco is neither harmful nor addictive."