Tasmania is preparing new laws to create Australia’s, and the world’s, first tobacco-free generation.
Legislation would continue to prevent the sale of tobacco to people born in 2000 or later even after they turn 18.
Tasmania’s smoking rates are above the national average, reflecting the state’s lower socioeconomic status and a long term lack of investment in tobacco control strategies, say Professor E Haydn Walters and Kathryn Barnsley from the University of Tasmania.
“Currently in Tasmania around 40% of younger men smoke. Male smoking rates have not fallen significantly for 10 years, and are 50% greater than nationally,” they write in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Independent MP Ivan Dean has introduced the Public Health Amendment (Tobacco-free Generation) Bill to the Tasmanian Parliament, and its workability is being considered by a committee. The aspiration is supported by the state Government.
Tasmania’s current under-18 law already prevents tobacco from being sold to people born in 2000 or later. That restriction expires on January 2018.
“However, with TFG (Tobacco-free Generation) legislation, the restriction will simply continue,” Walters and Barnsley say.
“Thus, retailers will never be allowed to sell cigarettes to anyone born this century, although the law will be reviewed after 3 and 5 years. Cigarettes will become a ‘so last century’ phenomenon.
“Tasmania is the first jurisdiction in the world to craft such mould-breaking legislation.”
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