The Opposition Leader today revealed the shadow cabinet had agreed to back the introduction of drab olive green cigarette packages, depriving tobacco companies of their colourful branding.
"We will seek to amend the legislation to ensure that it really does bring smoking rates down but if our amendments fail we won't be opposing the legislation, because we really are committed in opposition as we were in government to try and bring smoking rates down,” he said.
The move follows an internal split on the measure, with several backbenchers warning they would cross the floor unless the Coalition backed the Labor proposal.
Mr Abbott said he would not comment on the specifics of Coalition amendments until he saw the government's legislation.
He said the opposition wasn't changing its position on plain packaging because it didn't have one initially.
But Mr Abbott has for weeks refused to offer support for the measure saying he was not convinced it would ease smoking rates.
Australia will become the first nation to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes, making the move a test case for tobacco companies.
They are likely to launch court action to protect their lucrative international brands against similar action elsewhere.
ARE THE COALITION NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM TOBACCO COMPANIES???
TONY DOESN'T TELL US ABOUT THE MONEY
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