WA Government to legislate tobacco reforms

June 1st, 2017 by: admin
  • Plans to eliminate the sale of fruit and confectionary flavoured cigarettes
  • Tobacco use was responsible for an estimated 1,673 deaths of Western Australians in 2013

The McGowan Government is committed to laws and policing relating to the sale, supply and marketing of tobacco products and exposure to second-hand smoke.

Western Australians are being reminded today – World No Tobacco Day – of the health risks of cigarettes and tobacco, with data showing that two out of three long-term smokers are likely to die from tobacco use.

Despite the overall smoking trend declining in WA, tobacco use was responsible for an estimated 1,673 deaths of Western Australians in 2013, and 19,196 hospitalisations in 2015.

In 2015, nine per cent of the WA population aged 18 years and over were daily smokers. In 2014, five per cent of WA secondary school students aged 12-17 years reported that they were regular smokers and in the same year, 10 per cent of women reported smoking during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, and nine per cent reported smoking after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Department of Health experts advise that quitting smoking at any age results in immediate health benefits, irrespective of how long a person has been smoking.

The State-funded Quitline (13 7848 or 13 QUIT) is a confidential telephone advice and information service that helps smokers to plan and develop strategies to quit smoking and stay stopped.

Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:

“The McGowan Government campaigned on a pledge to strengthen laws and policing relating to the sale, supply and marketing of tobacco products and exposure to second-hand smoke.

“After years of inaction from the Barnett Government, I’m now working to make our pledge a reality by introducing reforms that are well overdue.

“Legislation is being reviewed immediately to address the findings of the review of tobacco laws that was conducted in 2011 but never acted upon.

“The proposal would see the sale of fruit and confectionary flavoured cigarettes and packs that can be split and shared eliminated.

“It is also proposed to tighten laws around the display and promotion of tobacco products where loopholes still exist.

“In addition to the reforms highlighted in the 2011 review, I will be asking the Department of Health to investigate further measures that can be taken to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke, and to discourage our young people from starting smoking.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6500

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