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  1. ITV Report

Australia leads way with plain packaging for tobacco

Mandatory packaging for cigarettes sold in Australia Credit: Reuters

In 2012 Australia led the way by becoming the first country to pass laws requiring all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging in a bid to deter smoking.

The law stated that all products must be sold in standardised drab dark coloured packaging with large graphic health warnings.

Since then, studies have shown plain packaging is working to reduce the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products and is acting as a deterrent on smoking.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes in the March quarter 2014 is the lowest ever recorded.

Meanwhile a report showed there had been a significant decrease in daily smokers aged 14 years or older in Australia.

Calls to helplines which help people to quit smoking have also increased since the law was introduced.

A number of other countries are considering plain packaging, including New Zealand, France and Finland.

Last year Ireland announced it was proposing legislation that would make it the first country in the EU to make the move to plain packaging.