Australian Government Taskforce Recommends “Plain Packaging”

Sept 11, 2009

The Australian Government’s Preventative Health Taskforce’s ‘National Preventative Health Strategy’ was released on Tuesday 1st September and contains recommendations on tobacco, alcohol and obesity. The report identified, further regulations on packaging among its key recommendations including action to”Eliminate promotion of tobacco products through design of packaging.” The report recommends “plain packaging,” as described below:

“…there can be no justification for allowing any form of promotion for this uniquely dangerous and addictive product which it is illegal to sell to children. ‘Plain packaging’ entails prohibiting brand imagery, colours, corporate logos and trademarks, and permitting manufacturers only to print the brand name in a mandated size, font and place, in addition to required health warnings and other legally mandated product information such as toxic constituents, tax-paid seals or package contents. A standard cardboard texture would be mandatory, and the size and shape of the package and cellophane wrapper would also be prescribed.”

The National Preventative Health Strategy provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. The Strategy’s recommendations are directed at primary prevention and will address all relevant arms of policy and all available points of leverage, in both the health and non-health sectors.

Full Article: Australian Government Department of Health and Aging (September 1, 2009)