BBC News, May 5, 2017


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British American Tobacco has suggested an appeal is likely amid reports that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has upheld landmark Australian laws on cigarette plain packaging.

A leaked draft of the WTO ruling found that packaging constituted a legitimate public health measure, Bloomberg said.

The agency quoted two sources familiar with an interim report. The final report is expected to come in July.

If confirmed, the decision would be major blow to the tobacco industry.

It would effectively allow other nations to introduce plain packaging legislation without fear of violating trade laws.

British American Tobacco said it would wait for the final report before making detailed comment.

"However, as there is a high likelihood of an appeal by some or all of the parties, it is important to note that when the panel report is publicly released, it will not be the final word on whether plain packaging is consistent with international law," a company spokesperson said. [...]

global health health law policy international market public health regulation tobacco