The legislation, if passed, will enable important reforms to protect Australians against the harm caused by tobacco and vaping products, including:
- updating and improving graphic warnings on packaging, including extending warnings to individual cigarettes
- standardising the size of tobacco packets and products
- preventing the use of specified additives in tobacco products like menthols
- 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.
Tobacco use is estimated to kill more than 50 Australians every day – about 20,000 every year. It is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Australia.
The Government’s aim is to reduce the national smoking rate to less than 10 per cent by 2025 and 5 per cent or less by 2030, and to 27 per cent or less by 2030 for First Nations people.
The new laws will take effect from 1 April 2024. Industry will be given a year to comply with requirements, with retailers given a further three months.
These reforms complement the Government’s commitment to stamp out vaping.
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.
“Since the inception of plain packaging, big tobacco has become increasingly creative and cunning with their marketing tactics.
“This legislation will allow Australia to reclaim its position as a world leader on tobacco control.
“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.
“The Government is determined to support Australians tackling nicotine dependency and this next generation reform will cease any form of enticement.”