New Zealand plans logo-free cigarette packs

9:22 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand's government wants to get even tougher against smoking by making tobacco companies remove their logos from cigarette packs.

The country already has become one of the strictest anti-smoking countries by increasing taxes and making retailers hide packs below the counter. The new plain-packaging legislation would be similar to an Australian law that took effect in December.

But Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia says New Zealand will wait until a trade challenge in Australia plays out before introducing the new law. That would be next year at the earliest.

Tobacco companies oppose packaging changes but lost a legal challenge in Australia's highest court last year. Some tobacco-growing countries have mounted another challenge through the World Trade Organization.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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