Smoking rates in Australia fell at their fastest pace in more than two decades, following the introduction of the world’s first law forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging.
The daily smoking rate fell 15 per cent between 2010 and December 1 2013, when one in eight Australians said they lit up at least once a day, according to the most comprehensive survey undertaken since the new rules came into force.
Australia, which introduced plain packaging in December 2012, is at the centre of a global debate over whether laws removing all corporate branding and adding graphic health warnings can reduce smoking. Tobacco companies claim the rules do not work and say they infringe their intellectual property rights.
Simon Chapman, a professor in public health at the University of Sydney, told the Sydney Morning Herald that plain packaging was almost “like finding a vaccine that works very well against lung cancer”.
Previously: Lung May He Run
Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland