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Australian Anti-Tobacco Law Passes Last Hurdle

Australia is set to introduce what is being called the world's toughest anti-tobacco law.

The country's highest court today upheld the law, which bans tobacco companies from displaying their colors, brand designs and logos on cigarette packs in a bid to make smoking less attractive.

Tobacco companies had challenged the law, arguing it violates intellectual property rights and devalues their trademarks.

The court said it would release its reasons for upholding the law later this year.

The law is set to take effect in December.

Australia faces a potential challenge to its law through the World Trade Organization, with three tobacco growing countries -- Ukraine, Honduras and the Dominican Republic -- making official requests for consultation on plain packaging.

Based on AP, dpa and Reuters reporting

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