By Maximilian Clarke

Philip Morris Asia Limited have today (Monday) announced their intention to sue the Australian government for a law mandating plain packaging.

The law, due to come into force next year, will result in ‘billions of dollars’ in damages to the global tobacco giant, as well as introduce a host of new problems including a surge in counterfeiting.

“We are left with no option,” commented Philip Morris spokeswoman, Anne Edwards. “The Government has passed this legislation despite being unable to demonstrate that it will be effective at reducing smoking and has ignored the widespread concerns raised in Australia and internationally regarding the serious legal issues associated with plain packaging.”

Philip Morris Asia Limited is seeking suspension of the legislation and substantial compensation for the loss of the company’s valuable trademarks and investments in Australia that will result from plain packaging.

The company expects damages to amount to billions of dollars and that the legal process will take 2 to 3 years.

“We are confident that our legal arguments are very strong and that we will ultimately win this case,” added Anne Edwards.

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