Billionaire Twiggy Forrest is going after Australia's tobacco companies

Andrew Forrest. Photo: William West/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is trying to get the legal smoking age in Australia increased from 18 to 21.

The push is part of a major cancer-fighting campaign in which he is also considering suing big tobacco companies for the cost of smoking-related illnesses.

As part of the billionaire’s Minderoo Foundation Eliminate Cancer Initiative, Forrest, his wife Nicole, and others are trying to lobby the federal and state governments to raise the legal purchase age for tobacco.

According to The Daily Telegraph NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard is considering the proposal.

“If I had my way, people wouldn’t be able to smoke until before they were about 100,” he told the Telegraph. “So I’ll look at all options, along with other state and territory leaders, as we move forward.”

Forrest revealed he is considering a taking on the big tobacco companies after a recent landmark Canadian lawsuit saw three companies ordered to pay more than $15.6 billion in damages.

Smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians annually, with an estimated $31.5 billion in health and economic costs.

The Daily Telegraph has more.

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