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Case Detail


In Re: New Zealand Plain Packaging Proposal
On October 5, 2012, WLF filed formal comments with New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, urging it not to adopt new restrictions on the packaging of tobacco products. New Zealand is considering a proposal to require all cigarettes to be sold in “plain packaging” – meaning nothing more than the name of the product in black and white, along with a large health warning covering 70-90% of each package. WLF urged New Zealand not to adopt the proposal, arguing that it would raise serious issues regarding free speech and intellectual property rights. By prohibiting the use of trademarks and logos, the proposal would run afoul of international treaty obligations, WLF said. It also argued that the proposal would likely lead to increased illicit tobacco sales – the precise opposite effect from the one that regulators are hoping to achieve. Noting that Australia is about to adopt plain packaging, WLF urged New Zealand to study the results of Australia’s experiment before moving forward.
Case Status:
Awaiting decision.
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