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Big Tobacco backs Australian law opposers ($$) 

Jump to full article: Financial Times (uk), 2012-04-29
Author: Christopher Thompson


- FT.com PMI said the company was openly supporting governments that challenged Australia on plain packaging.

“We have been in contact with many of these countries, including on the trade and legal issues associated with the [plain packaging] policy,” it said. “It is commonplace for affected industries to support countries in WTO disputes and we are open to supporting governments that challenge Australia on plain packaging.”

BAT said the company was happy to provide legal support to member states, but it was “up to them” to accept it.

However, the news drew a sharp response from anti-tobacco campaigners.

“It is very concerning that tobacco companies are using legal action as a delaying tactic against a government that is trying to protect the health of its citizens,” said Robin Hewings, tobacco control manager for Cancer Research UK.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the London-based Action on Smoking and Health, accused the tobacco companies of “getting others to do their dirty work”.

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