After Australia and New Zealand, reports that tobacco plain packaging would be implemented in U.K is doing the rounds bringing stocks of major tobacco companies down. The Guardian reported the move recently here. The plain packaging may come into effect later this year in the U.K.
"Ministers are to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes along the Australian model with legislation this year, after becoming convinced that the branding is a key factor in why young people start to smoke.
The legislation, to be announced in the Queen's speech in May, is also expected to ban smoking in cars carrying anyone aged under 16 years. Ministers acknowledge that the ban is likely to be difficult for the police to enforce, but they believe peer group pressure will have an impact similar to the ban on drivers using mobile phones."
Will the plain packaging moves spread to other countries? How will major tobacco companies react? How will countries that rely on tobacco manufacturing for employment generation and national growth react? How will the panels established at the WTO decide on concerns of public health objectives in the context of intellectual property rights and trade?