Government win over tobacco giants will lower teen smoking: expert

As teams of QCs argue in the High Court on behalf of tobacco multinationals, an international expert on the impact of cigarette branding says he hopes the case will result in fewer Australian teens smoking.

Associate professor David Hammond, an expert on the public health impact of cigarette branding at Waterloo University in Canada, says marketing has a huge impact on young people.

If the Australian government wins the case, which revolves around new plain packaging legislation, few people under the age of 20 will take up smoking, Hammond told The Australian.

“We know for a fact that removing pack branding reduces appeal among young people,” Hammond says.

Hammond said he believed Australia was “on very firm footing with respect to the constitutional challenge and international trade law”.

The matter will ultimately be determined by the High Court, as hearings continue today.

The multinational tobacco companies are arguing the Australian government is taking away their branding space without compensation.

A judgement is likely by the middle of the year.


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