On World No Tobacco Day the Australian Government is releasing the draft of the proposed tobacco control legislation.
The Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) legislation is a critical step in the Government’s fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction.
It consolidates various tobacco-related laws, regulations, instruments and court decisions. It modernises and simplifies existing provisions and introduces new measures to discourage smoking and tobacco use and prevent the promotion of e-cigarettes.
The legislation will enable important reforms announced last year to protect Australians against the harm caused by tobacco and vaping products, including:
- updating and improving graphic warnings on packaging
- standardising the size of tobacco packets and products
- preventing the use of specified additives in tobacco products
- standardising the design and look of filters
- limiting the use of appealing names that imply reduced harm
- requiring health promotion inserts in packs and pouches
- improving transparency of tobacco sales volumes, product contents, and advertising and promotional activities.
- capturing vapes in advertising restrictions
This legislation supports the National Tobacco Strategy 2023–2030, which commits to reducing daily smoking prevalence to below 10% by 2025 and to 5% or less by 2030 and prioritises tackling smoking in First Nations communities.
Anyone can provide written feedback on the legislation’s exposure bill until 14 July 2023. The bill will be on the Consultation Hub later today.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Australia has been a leader in public health measures to discourage smoking, but after a decade of inaction, the gains of Labor’s world leading plain packaging laws have been squandered.
“Australia needs to reclaim its position as a world leader on tobacco control.
“Disadvantaged Australians are paying the price for Big Tobacco’s profits.
“When Peter Dutton was Shadow Health Minister he described Labor’s world-leading and life-saving reforms as ‘a bridge too far’.
“The Coalition has been on the wrong side of history before on tobacco control. I hope these new reforms are met with bipartisanship.
“Tobacco use is estimated to claim the lives of about 20,000 Australians every year – more than 50 Australians every day.
“This legislation will enable the next generation of reform to help us fight against nicotine addiction.”