While the first set of cigarettes in plain packaging have hit major supermarkets in Australia, a tobacco firm has directly challenged the Australian Government's order by not complying with strict new rules.
Imperial Tobacco, in its plain packing of cigarettes, told its Peter Stuyvesant brand customers, "it's what's on the inside that counts".
"Soon no one will see Peter Stuyvesant on the outside but we don't care. We're going plain early, because we know Peter Stuyvesant will continue to live on inside," News.com.au quoted the company,a s saying, in a leaflet advertising its packaging change to retailers.
Fellow tobacco giant Philip Morris has also failed to comply with the rules, despite making a more serious attempt.
Imperial Tobacco claimed that the new striptease style labels that show the old labels being ripped off to reveal plain packaging were essentially "a mechanism to provide factual information about upcoming legislative changes to adult consumers of the Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes."
"It is also important to inform our adult consumers that the product itself will remain unchanged," a spokeswoman for the company said.
New regulations in Australia require cigarette companies to start manufacturing cigarettes and tobacco products in drab packaging that includes large and graphic health warnings covering 75 per cent of the front of the pack from October 1.
The move caused Australian Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to lash out at Imperial Tobacco's claim, saying its "the ultimate sick joke from Big Tobacco".
"Diseased lungs, hearts and arteries are the reality of what is happening on the inside to a smoker," she said. (ANI)