Buying Cigarettes
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Cigarette plain packaging debate rages on

The Coalition is showing signs of splitting on the contentious debate engulfing the federal government's move to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes brands.

Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has voiced concerns over prohibiting tobacco companies from displaying their official logos as planned in the legislation.

"Smoking is an insidious thing, it will definitely kill you, there's no doubt about it, it's a terrible outcome," he told ABC radio.

"But can we go into the offices of British American Tobacco and Philip Morris and take the computers off their desks and their furniture out of their living room?"

Liberal health spokesman Peter Dutton challenged the government to provide concrete evidence indicating that plain packaging will reduce smoking rates.

His call came as Dutton defended the Coalition from claims its position was compromised by the acceptance of donations from tobacco firms.

Meanwhile, some reports also suggested a group of Liberal backbenchers including Ken Wyatt, Alex Somlyay and Mal Washer had threatened to vote with Labor on the issue.

Published: Monday, May 23, 2011

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