The nation’s lungs can breathe easier since Australia won a trade dispute against the tobacco industry this week over plain packaging for cigarettes. Backed by the World Health Organisation, international action on tobacco control will have legal muscle, according to an editorial in the Lancet this week.
This follows reports from China last month that trains are to be smoke-free and that in Japan new laws were passed to make smoking in bars and restaurants illegal, paving the way for a tobacco-free 2020 Olympics. Although these wins are a major step forward in global anti-smoking efforts the editorial stated that despite the fall in prevalence since 1990, the actual number of smokers continues to increase worldwide owing to population growth.
While the latest global legal successes are good progress, the editorial pointed out that it will be necessary to intensely monitor the tobacco industry to sustain the progress made so far.
Editorial, Lancet; 392 (10141):1, July 2018
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