Irish parliament passes plain tobacco packaging law

صورة AGORA moderator

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's parliament on Tuesday became the second in the world to pass legislation requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain packets, despite threats of legal action by tobacco companies opposed to the move.

Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Tobacco Group have announced they would take legal action against the move to ban the colorful logos used to sell tobacco brands but the government has said it plans to proceed.

The law was approved in its final reading in Ireland's upper house on Tuesday and needs to be signed by the country's president, widely seen as a formality. The government has not yet announced what date the law will come into force.

In a response last year to Britain's health department over its plans to introduce a similar law by May, Imperial Tobacco said plain packaging would infringe international law, could threaten future foreign direct investment into Britain and set a dangerous precedent for other sectors.

Australia introduced a similar ban in 2012 with the aim of reducing smoking and is facing challenges at the World Trade Organization with complaints that the law creates illegal obstacles to commerce.

SOURCE: Bussines Insider, March 3rd, 2015,