Chan to World: Stand with Australia

Central European Journal of Public Health, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Chan to World: Stand with Australia


SINGAPORE, 22 March 2012 -WHO Director-General Margaret Chan today urged the world to "stand shoulder to shoulder" against the tobacco industry's attempts to overturn Australia's new pathbreaking tobacco control law.

The Australian law requires tobacco products to be sold in "plain packaging" - that is, drab packages with graphic images of tobacco-related diseases and without logos. Australia is the first country to require plain packaging.

"We must make plain packaging a big success so that it becomes the success of the world," Dr Chan told Professor Jane Halton, Secretary of Australia's Department of Health and Ageing, and other delegates to the 1 5th World Conference on Tobacco or Health taking place in Singapore.

Australia has been sued by tobacco giant Philip Morris Asia under a bilateral trade agreement with China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Separately, it has been sued in domestic court by the tobacco industry.

Professor Halton promised that Australia will defend itself vigorously against both suits.

Dr Chan applauded Australia's determination in fighting tobacco industry intimidation.

'If we stand shoulder to shoulder, together, no tobacco industry can survive," Dr Chan said. "The fact that they are so desperate, I take it as an indication that the industry sees the writing on the wall. This is the death throe of the addicting industry. …

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