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Last updated at 12:07 BST, Friday, 08 April 2011

Australia's plan to ban cigarette logos

Summary

8 April 2011

Australia has unveiled what it claims are the toughest anti-smoking measures in the world. They would completely ban logos and branding on packets of cigarettes. Packets would also be plain olive green; the colour that smokers apparently find least attractive.

Reporter
Nick Bryant

woman smoking in Sydney

The Australian government wants to put people off smoking

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Report

The colour olive green is the latest weapon in the ongoing battle between the Australian government and big tobacco. Under aggressive new proposals, billed as the toughest in the world, every packet of cigarettes sold in Australia would be packaged in that colour after research showed that olive green was the most off-putting for smokers.

Logos and any form of distinct branding would be completely banned. Instead, the brand names would appear in a standard size and font, making them as bland and anonymous as possible. A greater area of the packaging would also be taken up with grotesque pictures of cancerous tumours and the health effects of tobacco.

Claiming a global first, the Australian government says it wants to remove any remaining glamour from cigarettes, but the big tobacco companies have questioned the legality of the legislation.

Worried about the possible worldwide knock-on effects of Australia introducing such stringent regulations, they've vowed to put up a fight - saying the new measures infringe international trademark and intellectual property laws.

Nick Bryant, BBC News

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Vocabulary

proposals

suggestions or plans

off-putting

repellent, or something which makes you want to avoid it

branding

designs or logos which identify a product as being made by a certain company

anonymous

unidentified, or unrecognisable

grotesque

very unpleasant or ugly in appearance

glamour

something which is viewed as attractive and exciting

legislation

a law or laws passed by a government

knock-on effects

things which happen as a result of an earlier event

stringent regulations

strictly or tightly controlled rules and laws

infringe

violate or breach

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