Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

French Parliament Passes Plain Packaging Law for Cigarettes

The French parliament passed a measure that will require cigarettes to be sold in plain packages without logos, stepping up restrictions on the tobacco industry in the western European country with the highest proportion of smokers.

The measure was passed Thursday, according to the parliament’s website. It will take effect in May, according to Agence France Presse.

France follows the U.K. and Ireland as the first European countries to stamp out one of the last ways cigarette manufacturers can market their products to consumers. Tobacco companies including Philip Morris International Inc. have been arguing in a London court against the U.K. measure, saying it infringes intellectual property rights.

Australia instituted plain packaging in 2012. About 20 countries are implementing or considering plain packaging, according to Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.

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