Cover-ups won’t be tolerated

SYDNEY: Tobacco companies that try to circumvent the government’s cigarette plain-packaging laws with branded tins or stickers that hide graphic health warnings, will face legal action, the federal Health Minister has warned.

“If people deliberately flout these laws, then we will consider and potentially take legal action against them,” Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said yesterday.

The world-first laws to make all cigarettes be sold in drab olive-brown packs came into force on December 1.

Ms Plibersek said early evidence revealed the new packaging was having a psychological effect.

As part of the government’s goal to prevent smoking-related cancer deaths in Australia, the federal government was willing to take companies to court to make sure they complied with packaging laws, the minister said.

“If we have large companies that deliberately look for ways to circumvent plain packaging, then I’ll have no hesitation in taking legal action against them.”

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