17 August 2012
The European Union is considering banning logos on cigarette
packs as part of an upcoming review of its law to deter smoking, a
spokesman said after Australia's highest court upheld a similar ban. The
Australian court on 15 August dismissed a legal challenge to the
government's ban, in a case filed by British American Tobacco, Britain's
Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco.
The ruling means that starting in December, all cigarette packs sold in
Australia will brandish plain olive packaging.
The EU will publish a draft revision to its 2001 Tobacco Products
Directive in the autumn, and may introduce more stringent rules on
packaging as well as extend legislation to newer tobacco products such
as electronic cigarettes. "Many things are being discussed, including the possibility of plain
packaging," Antonio Gravili, a spokesperson for the European Commission,
told a news briefing on Thursday. Printing larger graphic images on cigarette packs of the diseases linked
to smoking is another option, Gravili said. The EU's 2001 Directive required all member states to ensure that
cigarette packs carry text health warnings and in 2005 the Commission
recommended a series of graphic images to illustrate health risks. Most
EU countries have since adopted these pictures.
Once the directive's revision is completed, it will need the approval of
the EU's 27 countries and over 700 members of the European Parliament
before it can become law.