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Tobacco companies launch legal action against plain packaging

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4270 (Published 05 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4270
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

The giant tobacco company Philip Morris has launched legal action against Australia’s plans to make plain packaging of cigarettes compulsory from next year and plans to seek compensation for its losses.

Philip Morris Asia says that the plain packaging legislation will breach Australia’s bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong, where the company is based, and argues that removing brands from packaging devalues the company’s intellectual property.

Philip Morris is also using a similar legal strategy to try to block tobacco control measures in Uruguay, under the Switzerland-Uruguay bilateral investment treaty.

Anne Edwards, a spokeswoman for Philip Morris International, said that the company believed it had …

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