7 January 2013
Some Australian companies are giving away cardboard covers which hide photos of cancer-sufferers on plain cigarette packets.
The authorities are investigating whether this breaks the new law on cigarette packaging.
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Tobacco companies and retailers that try to circumvent Australia's plain-packaging laws could face prosecution, according to health authorities.
They're investigating whether to take action against cardboard covers and stickers that hide graphic anti-smoking warnings.
One firm that produces labels says that sales have soared because consumers can't stand the sight of the packets they buy.
Just over a month ago, Australia banned all tobacco company logos and colours from packaging, which now has disturbing colour pictures of smokers suffering from tongue and lung cancer.
The president of the Australian Medical Association, Steve Hambleton, is confident that those who attempt to skirt the legislation will be shut down.
President of the Australian Medical Association, Steve Hambleton:
If you're trying to circumvent it, it's not right, and I know that the government will actually either fix the problem by changing the law or enforcing the law. But the second thing I thought was, this is obviously working. If companies are going out of their way to hide the warnings and to hide the labels, they know it's having an impact and that's reassuring for us.
Tobacco companies had argued that Australia's plain packaging measures would deprive them of copyright without proper compensation. But in August their case was dismissed by the High Courts.
Click here to hear the vocabulary
- to circumvent
to find a way to avoid obeying a rule or law
- plain-packaging laws
laws which state that cigarettes cannot be sold in branded and attractive boxes
- face prosecution
have legal charges brought against them
explicit, showing unpleasant images
risen very quickly
- can't stand the sight of
hate to look at
- to skirt
- going out of their way to (do something)
doing things they wouldn't normally do
money received to make up for a financial loss caused by someone else