As we joined other leading public health organisations to mark the 10th anniversary of plain packaging this week, the Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Honourable Mark Butler, announced reforms to bring together all of Australia’s current tobacco measures, along with 11 new measures, including:
- Consolidating Australia’s patchwork tobacco legislation, bringing eight tobacco related laws, regulations and court decisions together
- Updating and improving health warnings on cigarette packs and individual cigarettes to help people understand the extent, and significance, of the health risks
- New requirements for pack and pouch sizes to make roll-your-own tobacco less affordable and appealing, particularly to young people
- Closing current loopholes that have allowed the tobacco industry to promote and market their products
- Requiring greater transparency from tobacco companies about sale volumes and pricing, product ingredients and emissions, along with their advertising, promotion and sponsorship activities
This announcement puts tobacco control back on the national agenda, showing that evidence and collaboration amongst Australia’s public health leaders can triumph over the tobacco industry’s cunning tactics.
It also brings Australia a step closer to the government’s ambitious target of reducing adult smoking rates to less than 5% by 2030.
Smoking remains a leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and a number of Prevention Centre research projects are working to tackle this issue.Professor Lucie Rychetnik, Prevention Centre Co-Director
We are also working closely with other public health organisations such as Cancer Council and the Public Health Association of Australia to provide the latest evidence and advocate for comprehensive tobacco control.
Working in partnership with committed governments and organisations, we can continue to put the health of Australians first and save the lives of more than 20,000 Australians each year.
Photo and creative credit: Claudine Thornton Creative using NSW-based bush foods and medicines