Australia is to phase out lawful retailing of cigarettes from 2015, starting with a ban on corporate logos on packaging in 2012.
"The new branding for cigarettes will be the most hardline regime in the world and cigarette companies will hate it," the prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is quoted as saying in the Guardian:
""Introducing plain packaging just takes away the ability of a consumer to identify our brand from another brand and that's of value to us," an Imperial Tobacco Australia spokeswoman, Cathie Keogh, told ABC radio, adding that the company planned to take legal action."
A leading expert in non-brand retailing, who declined to be named, welcomed the move. "We've been working with government agencies for many years now on ways to improve the distribution and marketing of non-branded products, and this is a great endorsement of our efforts," he said, during a brief exchange of gunfire with a colleague.
The value of shares in private security firms also received a boost, as A$215bn was added to the value of the sector in same day trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.