More than a year after the implementation of a law requiring all tobacco products to be packaged plainly it has failed to stop or even slow down the sale of tobacco products in Australia; in fact sales have increased, according to a report in The Australian.
“I think our policy should be evidence-based and where governments get the best bang for their buck; that is on individual responsibility, rather than big government,” said Australia’s Liberal MP Alex Hawke, advocating the repeal of the law.
NSW Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm agreed with Hawke’s statement saying “plain packaging does more harm than good”.
The sale of tobacco products in Australia has increased — the exact opposite result of what the law was instituted for – claimed a report in The Australian on 6 June.
Critics of this policy being implemented in the UK have said the Australian case study should serve as an indication that implementing a similar law in Britain would be a waste of taxpayers’ money and would expose the country to potential legal battles, as is the case in Australia.
At least five different disputes have been logged with the World Trade Organization against Australia. The disputes revolve around intellectual property rights in terms of trademarks and geographical indications.