Despite strong opposition from cigarette manufacturers, Australia's High Court ruled today in favor of a law requiring the replacement of logos on tobacco packaging with graphic health warnings.
Dubbed the "world's toughest tobacco packaging law," it requires all cigarettes be packaged in plain, olive-brown packs that feature all-over graphic depictions of smoking's more serious side-effects. Brand names will be allowed to appear on packs, but are limited to fine, generic print.
The law is scheduled to take effect December 1st.
"Many other countries around the world ... will take heart from the success of this decision today," Attorney General Nicola Roxon said in the decision's aftermath. "Governments can take on big tobacco and win and it's worth countries looking again at what the next appropriate step is for them."
Indeed, New Zealand is expected to approve similar legislation, and the UK, France, South Africa, and China are all reviewing similar measures.
Bolstered by their victory, anti-smoking activists are calling on lawmakers to ban cigarettes altogether. Their primary concern is that the new law could compel manufacturer's to lower their prices in order to keep their customers from turning to cheaper black market cigarettes.
The tobacco industry has agreed to follow the new packaging rules, but plans to challenge the law in the UN and the World Trade Organization remain in place.