Big Tobacco Threatens to Sue Australia Over Ugly Cigarette Packs

Erik Hayden
Big Tobacco Threatens to Sue Australia Over Ugly Cigarette Packs

Big Tobacco may tolerate some diseased mouths and humongous cancer warnings on cigarette packs, but a required "ugly olive green" color scheme on every box is one step too far. This morning, The New York Times reported that Philip Morris is "initiat[ing] legal action" against the Australian government for requiring a color scheme which would "partly eras[e] the advantage of brand recognition enjoyed by global tobacco names like Marlboro and Camel." The Australian's idea, as you can see below, is to make smoking even less appealing by blurring together every brand into olive-green sameness.

RELATED: Lone Cigarette Ignites Pipeline Explosion in Kenya Slum

When the United States Food and Drug Administration introduced similar labels last week (sans olive green), Big Tobacco made the same saber-rattling warnings: "the four leading tobacco companies were all threatening legal action, saying the images would unfairly hurt their property and free-speech rights by obscuring their brand names in retail displays," the Times previously wrote. Today, a Philip Morris Asia spokesman said in a statement to the paper that "We believe we have a very strong legal case and will be seeking significant financial compensation for the damage to our business."

RELATED: A 'Deconstructed, Purposeful' Cigarette for Hipsters

For context: here's a larger-than-you-feel-like-looking-at glimpse of the Australian olive-green mockups:

RELATED: A Few New Yorkers Will Go to Great Lengths to Keep Smoking