Philip Morris threatens to sue Australia over packaging

By REUTERS
June 27, 2011 09:58

 
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SYDNEY - Tobacco giant Philip Morris is threatening to sue the Australian government for possibly billions of dollars over its plan to be the first country to introduce plain, brand-less packaging for cigarettes.

The tobacco firm is fearful that plain-packaging will damage its cigarette brands like Marlboro and Alpine and reduce their ability to compete against other brands.

The Australian government argues that reducing brand identification will make smoking less attractive and in turn reduce smoking rates and the health costs associated with smoking, which is said by Australian health authorities to kill 15,000 people a year in the country.

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