The Straits Times
Published on Sep 12, 2012

Australia slams 'sick joke' cigarette packs ahead of plain-package phase


 SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia slammed as a "sick joke" on Wednesday new cigarette packs on sale as part of the national phase-in to plain packaging which play on drab branding and claim it's "what's on the inside that counts".

Tobacco products in Australia will have to be sold in drab, uniform khaki packaging with graphic health warnings from Dec 1 under a new anti-smoking policy upheld last month by the nation's highest court.

In order to meet the shelf deadline products must be manufactured in plain packets from Oct 1 and Imperial Tobacco rolled out one last branded packet on Wednesday which attracted the ire of Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

The new box shows the Peter Stuyvesant brand ripped at one corner to reveal the new drab-look box and comes with information to customers about the coming changes claiming "it's what's on the inside that counts".