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updated: 7/5/2011 9:12 PM

Australia introduces tough new tobacco ad bill

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CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian government has introduced a bill that would prevent tobacco companies from displaying their distinctive colors and logos on cigarette packs.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon told Parliament that the legislation she introduced on Wednesday represents the world's toughest tobacco promotion laws.

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It requires all cigarettes to be sold in the same drab, olive green packs with brand names dwarfed by health warnings from May next year.

The so-called plain-packaging legislation appears certain to become law with the main opposition party indicating support.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc. launched court action against the government in June, arguing the move illegally diminishes the value of its trademark.

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