Last year was marked by the growing efforts of many countries across the world in the field of struggling with tobacco consumption, but one nation proved to be the World’s leader when it takes to tobacco control – Australia government adopted the most stringent anti tobacco measures in 2010 seeking to crack down tobacco usage in the next decades.
Plain packages for tobacco – Australia became the first nation in the world to require local tobacco companies to pack their products in generic black-and-white packs, without any logos and colors. The landmark measure was adopted on April 29th, 2010 and is set to become valid from July 1st, 2012. In addition to plain packaging, all promo texts would be limited and brand names would be written in standard size, color and style. The move, considered by antismoking advocates as one of the most effective means of reducing smoking rates, was hailed by the World Health Organization that stated the measure has become the latest “gold standard” in tobacco control.
Tobacco tax hike – Last year Australia government also suddenly announced its plan to rise cigarette tax rate by 25 percent. The move revealed by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was implemented immediately and price of a pack of 30 cigarettes added almost $2.16 overnight. Local public health organizations, such as the Heart Foundation, welcomed the measure, stating cigarette tax had not been changed for several years, and even called to increase it one more time in 2011.
Ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces - all six Australian states and territories have banned smoking in enclosed places, among which are restaurants, hotel rooms and public transport.
Nationwide Preventive Health Act 2010 – In November Australian Parliament voted in favor of the latter federal legislation, providing financial support to the National Preventative Health Agency. The agency established a Taskforce group comprising nation’s best public health experts to introduce strategies focused on reducing the burden of chronic diseases caused by tobacco and alcohol consumption and obesity.
Ban on the Displays of Tobacco Products – the largest Australian States have all approved the law banning the displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products, which is set to come into action in several stages in 2010-2013. According to that legislation, displays and advertisements of all tobacco products are banned at the points of sale. The bans will also be amended regularly to prevent advertising in new places, such as online stores.
Ban on smoking in vehicles where adolescents are present – Most of the states and territories have also approved the ordinances which ban smoking in cars where adolescents are present.
In addition usage and sales of electronic cigarettes (nicotine-delivery devices) have also been prohibited across Australia.
Nicola Roxon, Australia’s Health Minister declared that hesitating to regulate tobacco is like killing people who voted for the lawmakers, hoping they will improve people’s lives.