Anti-tobacco ruling in Australia welcomed by UN health agencyListen /
A decision of the High Court of Australia to dismiss a legal challenge from the tobacco industry has been strongly welcomed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Several major tobacco companies had challenged Australia's law requiring cigarettes and other tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging without any branding.
As of December this year, Australia will be the first country to sell cigarettes in drab, olive green packaging.
WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas says plain packaging is an important tobacco control measure.
"Plain packaging limits or stops the ability of the tobacco industry to target messages on those packages and it increases the impact of the health warnings that we would like to see on cigarettes packets and also it reduces the false and misleading messages that customers believe that tobacco products can be safe and finally, it just reduces the attractiveness of smoking by making very very stark, clear drab branding." (Duration: 25")
WHO estimates that tobacco products kill six million people each year.