What colour disgusts smokers most? The alarming red of blood? The disturbing dark brown of tar? Or the slimy yellow of pus? The anti-smoking advertisements have tried all the above and now, they are turning to matte olive green.

According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, it was found that matt olive green was the colour least attractive to smokers. Therefore, when the Australian federal government announced a further push for plain packaged cigarettes, it was decided that matte green colour will cover cigarette boxes, with large disturbing pictures of physically damaged body parts juxtaposed on.


The aim is to lower the existing 15,000 deaths related to smoking each year, but the tobacco companies are insisting that not only will this move infringe on their intellectual property and trademark rights, moreover, it will cost taxpayers a lot of money with no proven effectiveness.

Scott McIntyre, a spokesperson from British American Tobacco said on ABC’s Lateline last night: “If the Government’s tied up using millions of dollars to fight this and then potentially spending billions of dollars of compensation of taxpayers’ money, that’s going to be very, very costly.”

The compensation McIntyre spoke of refers to court action that tobacco companies are planning to undertake under a battle of their IP and trademark rights being removed from their products. Another issue that was raised from the website www.plain-packaging.com, which was set up by Philip Morris, was the risk of counterfeit tobacco products being shipped into the country due to the difficulty in spotting illegal packs.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon argues that plain packaging dismisses the glamourous image that cigarettes currently invoke in consumers, and is hoping that changes will come into effect on January 1, 2012. The Australian Council on Smoking and Health also believe that plain packaging will make cigarette packs appear unattractive.

If the bill is passed, Australia will be the first country in the world to implement this law.