An open debate is needed at the next anti-tobacco summit in India to protect businesses from extreme and ineffective regulation, writes Idil Yasa
At the end of 2012, Australia introduced one of the most restrictive and extreme regulations ever proposed for fast-moving consumer goods: plain packaging for tobacco products.
Trademarks, logos, non-prescribed colours and graphics have been banned with only the use of the brand name permitted in a standard font and size. Graphic health warnings now cover 90% of the back of packs and 75% of the front. Put simply, the measure is a branding ban; manufacturers of a legal product are no longer allowed to use branding on their product packaging.
Trademarks represent a bond of trust between manufacturer and consumer; a reassurance of quality. They help consumers make informed choices and buy with confidence. Tobacco trademarks, like others, are valuable and run into billions of dollars.
IDIL YASA is the branding ban vice-president at Japan Tobacco International.