WMA hails Australian Government Victory on Tobacco

(16.08.2012) Governments around the world have been encouraged by the World Medical Association to follow the example of the Australian Government in legislating on plain cigarette packaging following this week's High Court victory.

The WMA welcomed the High Court decision in Australia to dismiss the challenge brought against the legislation by tobacco companies.

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA and a family physician in Melbourne, hailed the court's decision as a major step forward in the fight against tobacco.

‘The WMA condemned the legal action brought by the tobacco industry and the court's decision shows that governments can withstand and defeat the bullying tactics of the big tobacco companies.

‘Governments around the world must now rise to the challenge and follow the example of the Australian Government in banning logos on cigarette packets. We firmly believe that when this legislation is implemented, it will save lives by reducing the terrible health related deaths, long-term illnesses and disability caused by smoking.

‘Governments have a duty to do what they can to help smokers give up and choose a healthier way of life.

‘When the WMA General Assembly meets in Thailand in October, it will discuss further steps to strengthen its anti-tobacco policy against the aggressive promotion by the tobacco industry to make their products more appealing to young people.'


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The World Medical Association is the independent confederation of national medical associations from 100 countries and represents more than nine million physicians. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all people.