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Arguments over cigarette packaging still smoking

· Jan-21-2014 · ()

Vanderbilt Professor Daniel Gervais has co-authored a new article detailing the international legal conflict over Australia’s strict plain packaging requirements for cigarettes.

“[W]hile the normative appeal of tobacco control is strong, there is a normative case to be made for getting trademark (and, more broadly, intellectual property) rules right,” writes Gervais and his co-author Susy Frankel.

Gervais predicts that WTO cases against Australia probably will proceed this year.  Both Honduras and Indonesia are seeking to curtail the regulations.

In the meantime, the Australian anti-smoking advocacy group Quitline says evidence shows that more smokers are trying to quit since the law took effect.  However, a new tobacco-industry sponsored report indicates that the cigarette black market has grown.

“How and to what extent this is linked to plain packaging is a matter that a WTO panel might consider,” says Gervais.

Meanwhile, the European Union has declined to adopt similar plain packaging measures, and tobacco use has become a hot-button topic in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

Read the article HERE.




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