In 1989, the New Zealand Department of Health’s
Toxic Substances Board first recommended that cigarettes be sold only in white packs with black text and no colours or logos. 
But it was in Canada that a proposal to require plain packaging of tobacco products was first developed in the 1990s. A parliamentary committee reviewed the evidence and concluded that plain packaging could be a “reasonable step in the overall strategy to reduce tobacco consumption”. 
The committee recommended that legislation be implemented pending the outcome of government-sponsored research on the likely effectiveness of plain packs. However following tobacco industry lobbying and changes in government ministers the proposal was dropped.
Australia will be the first country in the world to require tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging. The new legislation will be implemented throughout the country from December 2012.
The federal government has rejected tobacco
company claims that its plain packaging laws amount to an acquisition of their brands and logos, saying the legislation is an extension of regulations that have applied for the last 40 years.
Tobacco companies are throwing everything at the legal challenge because they are worried other countries could follow Australia's lead if the government wins.
It doesn't seem like the tobacco companies have much chance of success. Their representatives have been popping up seeking sympathy for their cause, I have none.