Health Ministry Chastises BATA for Plain Packaging Breaches
By Erik Pineda | November 29, 2012 1:59 PM EST
Giant cigarette producer British American Tobacco got a stern reproach from the Health Ministry for issuing products that were not fully compliant with Australia's strict plain packaging laws, which started gradual implementation in October 2012.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has confirmed that packets of cigarettes cite in an October report by ABC carry markings that were unacceptable to the new rules governing the packaging and marketing of locally retailed tobacco products.
The laws dictate that 75 per cent of each cigarette front pack carry explicit warnings on the health hazards that medical doctors said were connected with smoking, plus the prohibition on any form of advertising.
In the particular packs pointed by ABC, Ms Plibersek said "they have letters on them like NYC, LDN for London, SYD for Sydney, AUS for Australia, we think those sort of letter tags suggest some meaning to people who are smoking."
"It's certainly not random as it should be. It's the cigarette companies trying to push the boundaries. We have asked them to change their production," the health minister was quoted by ABC as saying on Thursday.
Another breach identified by Ms Plibersek is the type of paper that was used in the production of cigarette casings, in which there is "a sort of watermark in the paper of some of the cigarettes."
"We believe that it is a breach. We believe plain paper means plain paper, it doesn't mean watermarked paper, so we've also told the tobacco companies that they need to change that," Ms Plibersek said.
These violations would have meant fines of no less than $100 million for BATA but the government will be lenient for now, Ms Plibersek said, adding that the current tobacco stocks with the cited breaches would be allowed to remain in circulation until they are sold out.
In a statement, BATA has declared that it would work with the government "for a mutually beneficial outcome" on the matter, adding that the violations will be rectified in the new production batches.
"They were testing the boundaries and we've gone after them and they've rolled over, they've agreed to change what they're doing," Ms Plibersek said.
"There is a clear set of rules about what is allowed and if we start allowing variations then the tobacco companies will push the boundaries," the health minister added in a separate interview with News Ltd.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Getting Serious With Jennifer Lawrence, Actress Joining Coldplay Tour [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Bill Clinton Credits Sugar-Free Diet For Weight Loss: A Vegan Diet If Not Followed Properly Can Cause Weight Gain
- Overdose Of Prescription Drug Oxycodone Even Deadlier Than Heroin
- The Secret Behind HIV Infection Found: Reasons Why It Could Not Be Eradicated
- Dr Oz: Your Diet Can Affect Your Mood, Five Diets That Help Combat Depression
- 5 Celebrity Couples Who Stood The Test Of Hollywood
- Apple iPhone 6 Actual Release Date after September 9 Confirmed 128GB Variant with New Resolution
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Nexus 6 on Release Date Confirmed with Phablet-Size Display as FCC Filing Hints of 5.9-Inch Screen
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans