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    Crackdown on Australian Tobacco Industry

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    NTDTelevision

    by NTDTelevision

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    The Australian government is coming down hard on tobacco companies with an excise tax on tobacco set to jump by 25% this Friday.

    Then in a world-first move, new laws will be in force by January 2012 that control packaging of tobacco products.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unveiled the new packaging during a news conference in Canberra (pron CAN beh ruh) on Thursday.

    [Kevin Rudd, Australia Prime Minister]: English
    "In terms of packaging for the future, that is what we mean, that is what will be in broad terms, in the front and that is what you have in terms of where you indicate the particular brand in small print down the bottom."

    The packages will look plain with a sizeable illustrative health warning and only a small and simple-font brand will be printed at the bottom of the package.

    Rudd says the new measures are important for the health of all Australians.

    [Kevin Rudd, Australia Prime Minister]: English
    "Cigarettes are not cool, cigarettes kill people, therefore the government makes no apology whatsoever for what it is doing, the cigarette, tobacco companies will hate this measure, they will oppose it, nonetheless we believe this and other measures help to reduce smoking."

    Smoking-related illnesses have been identified by health authorities as the largest preventable cause of disease and death in the country.

    Tobacco companies have two years before package branding legislation takes effect.