[Ip-health] News.com.au: Roxon urges UN to fight big tobacco

thiru at keionline.org thiru at keionline.org
Tue Sep 20 03:01:54 PDT 2011


FEDERAL Health Minister Nicola Roxon has told a United Nations meeting on
disease management that governments around the world must unite in their
fight against big tobacco.

Ms Roxon says multinational cigarette manufacturers work across borders
and governments must therefore do the same to reduce the harm caused by

A UN general assembly high-level meeting in New York is looking at how
best to prevent non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer
and diabetes.

Ms Roxon told the meeting overnight that Australia was taking up the World
Health Organisation's challenge to introduce plain packaging for all

"The big tobacco giants are fighting desperately through
multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns and threats of legal action,"
she said in her address.

"They are fighting vigorously because they know plain packaging will hurt
them by reducing sales, and they know if Australia succeeds in being the
first country to implement these laws we won't be the last."

Ms Roxon said taking on cigarette manufacturers required resources and
political will.

"(But) the fight against big tobacco is one which, together, we will win."

Draft legislation, scheduled to be debated in the Australian Senate today,
will force all cigarettes to be sold in drab olive-brown packs from

Graphic health warnings will cover most of the package, which will be
devoid of company branding.

Ms Roxon later told ABC Television that other like-minded countries had
shown an "enormous" amount of interest in Australia's plain-packaging

They needed to be informed what tactics big tobacco used in the battle,
she said today.

"We can share this information, we can support each other, we can make
sure that everyone knows what's going on in other countries.

"Tobacco companies are multinational ones, they work across borders, and
we need to do that in our determination to protect the community from harm
caused by smoking."

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