Australia may be the first country to ban all cigarette pack logos, according to laws that were introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

Cigarette packs would be replaced with olive-green packaging that includes graphic images and health warnings.

If passed, the laws will go into effect as soon as January. Other countries, including Britain, are said to be considering similar laws.
“Introducing this legislation today I think shows that the big tobacco’s intimidation tactics have not worked,” said Australian health minister, Nicola Roxon.

“Our government won’t be deterred from taking this action. We believe that we are on very strong ground – although this is a world first, taking this action – and are determined to proceed with it. We will reduce the number of people that take up smoking to start with (and) we will take away any of the remaining glamour that might be attached to smoking, “ she said.

But cigarette companies are putting up a fight against the new laws.

Tobacco firms across the country, including Phillip Morris, have launched legal action against the laws. They have also created a national advertising campaign, calling Australia a “nanny state” and warning that alcohol could be the next product banned.

The Australian government vowed they would not bow down to “big tobacco’s intimidation tactics”.

In Britain, warnings must cover 30% of the packs under regulations set by the European Union.