It has come to the notice of the Australian government that most tobacco companies are accusing them to be stealing their trademarks and forcing them to sell their cigarettes in plain packages. This complaint is now being scrutinized by the Australian government. The judges are of the opinion that the tobacco brands can still retain their names on the cigarette packs. Most top cigarette manufacturers which include Philip Morris, British American Tobacco as well as the Japan Tobacco Inc. are campaigning against the Australian government’s move to take away their logos from the cigarette packs. According to the statistical data, over 900,000 Australians have lost their lives owing to tobacco smoke. This data is from the year 1950 to the year 2008. Another alarming fact is that over one sixth of the Australian population aged 14 years and above smokes at least a single cigarette daily.

The Australian government has banned tobacco companies from using their logos on cigarette packs and this is the first of its kind ban, which has been applied by a country. Australia happens to be the first country to have done so. This ban is being watched closely by several nations across the world. According to Rob Cunningham, who also happens to be associated with the Canadian Cancer Society and works as a policy analyst, “The ban which the Australian government has applied needs to be watched carefully. If the ban stays, then the dominoes is bound to weaken.” In fact, several anti smoking organizations are of the opinion that if this ban stays, then most other countries may follow suit.

Australian government is in favor of upholding the ban. According to Nicola Roxon, the attorney general, “The battle between the government and the tobacco companies would be a hard one. This is simply because tobacco companies have always stated that they would take this battle to the court.”  Nonetheless, the plain packaging idea has started picking speed and most countries in Europe are in favor of implementing such a ban in the near future. According to the director of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, “Plain packaging needs to be implemented at the earliest given opportunity and made into a huge success.”  In the United States, the tobacco companies are protected by their First Amendment rights. As per this amendment, tobacco companies are able to safeguard their freedom of expression.

In February 29’th, a federal judge in the United States had ruled in favor of tobacco companies, when they had moved to court in objection to graphic labels being incorporated on cigarette packs. According to the judge, the incorporation of graphic labels on cigarette packs was a direct violation of the freedom of speech of tobacco companies by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Apparently, FDA’s move was seen as a violation of the constitutional rights of tobacco companies by the court of law. The main reason why governments of various countries have paid attention to the concept of plain packaging is because they believe that by doing so, they would be able to contain the growing numbers of smokers in the world.