Leanne Mezrani in the Australian, Lawyers Weekly today writes: Lawyers tight-lipped on tobacco covers
Legal experts are refusing to comment on whether Australia’s largest
tobacco franchise is violating state laws by offering customers free
covers designed to hide the graphic images on cigarette packs.
Tobacco Station Group stores are giving away covers that feature the
company’s logo and web address to customers who buy tobacco products.
The franchise has more than 300 stores in states and territories across
Australia, including Victoria, WA and the ACT.
Under Victoria’s Tobacco Act 1987, WA’s Tobacco Products Control Act
2006 and the ACT’s Tobacco Act 1927, a retailer must not supply a gift
or prize in connection with the sale of a tobacco product.
The Department of Health and Ageing is reportedly investigating whether
Tobacco Station Group’s covers violate federal tobacco laws. Health
Minister Tanya Plibersek revealed in a statement that the Tobacco Plain
Packaging (TPP) Act, which came into force on 1 December, had so far led
to 15 complaints, all made against retailers.
“The Department of Health and Ageing is investigating the complaints
and has found some to be unsubstantiated. Where evidence suggested
non-compliance, warnings were issued and educational material about the
legislation was made available,” she said.
* This number reflects the total amount of people who have signed up to support the plain packaging of tobacco products, via the Plain Packs Protect Partnership (logos below), British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK websites.