Plain packaging

On 1 December 2012 it became mandatory for all tobacco products in Australia to be sold in plain packaging, and for the size of the warning and graphic on the front of the pack to increase to 75 per cent from the previous 30 per cent. Plain packaging means that tobacco products must be stripped of all brand colouring, logos and decoration and must all be in the same colour and style of packaging.

Plain packaging examplePlain packaging example

The Commonwealth Department of Health oversees this world first public health initiative and has created a website where you can find comprehensive information including:

  • Facts sheets and guides
  • Information for tobacco retailers
  • Information for those from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • Links to the legislation for plain packaging and graphic health warnings
  • Information on the enforcement policy
  • Where to make complaints if you believe someone is not complying

Find out more at the Department of Health and Ageing.

Further information on plain packaging including myths and facts, links to evidence reviews and evaluation of the policy can be found at Cancer Council Victoria.

A number of legal challenges have been instigated against the plain packaging legislation. Further information on the constitutional challenge heard by the High Court of Australia, the World Trade Organization challenge and the challenge under a bilateral investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong can be found at the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer.