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A Bill is before the Australian parliament that will ban anything but plain brown packets for cigarettes. If it is enacted, then from January 2012 only the brand name will be allowed on the packet, in a standard type font under the Health Warning. The coffin nails themselves must be plain, white with no special marking or sizes. No doubt the UK Government, Tobacco Industry and antismoking groups will be watching this with interest.
There can be no doubt of the BMA's opinion, but do you think it will reduce smoking and how long will it take to work? Will this just deter new smokers or will it turn off those who indulge already?
And what will unrepentant smokers do? Will they flaunt the new brown packet, or will there be a resurgence of the cigarette case? Will antique ones jump in value? ( I have my Grandad's old case!) The manufacturers will not take this lying down; will they market cases with their old brand markings on them?