A $9 million consumer awareness campaign advising smokers that 'light' and 'mild' cigarettes are not a healthier option will be launched nationally on 26 December 2005.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said the consumer awareness campaign, funded by tobacco companies, will inform consumers of health concerns related to use of 'light' and 'mild' and similarly described cigarettes.

The $9 million funding for the campaign was contributed by Philip Morris Limited, British American Tobacco Australia Limited and Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited as part of
court-enforceable undertakings* obtained by the ACCC.

Earlier this year the three tobacco companies agreed to:

  • remove the 'light', 'mild' and related descriptors and numbers of concern from their cigarette packaging
  • cease making the health representations relating to 'light', 'mild' and related descriptors of concern to the ACCC, and
  • contribute $9 million in funding for a consumer education campaign to raise consumer awareness that low yield cigarettes are not necessarily a healthier option.

"The undertakings addressed the matters of most concern to the ACCC and successfully resolved the ACCC's investigation** of health and other claims allegedly made by the tobacco companies in Australia", Mr Samuel said. 

"The campaign, including television, radio, print and billboard advertisements, will air nationally and aims to raise awareness that low yield cigarettes are not necessarily less harmful to a smoker's health than high yield cigarettes".

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