End-game proposal ‘not…workable’

| February 22, 2016

In Australia, the anti-tobacco campaign group SmokeFree Tasmania (SFT) has rejected the state government’s proposal to raise the minimum legal smoking age from 18 to 21, according to a story by Duncan Abey of the Hobart Mercury.

Instead, the group says it supports the end-game option contained in the Tobacco Free Generation (TFG) Bill that is already before parliament.

SFT spok­es­man Professor Haydn Walters said lifting the minimum legal smok­ing age to 21 would crim­inalize smokers and not the ‘pushers and dealers’ who profited from selling a known lethal product.

His organization supported the well-­considered, simple and easy-to-administer TFG proposal, he said.

Ivan Dean, an independent member of the Legislative Council, has proposed a Private Member’s Bill, the Health Amendment (Tobacco-Free Generation) Bill 2014, that would, from 2018, ban the sale of tobacco in the state to anyone born after 2000.

But Health Minister Mich­ael Ferguson said that while the government supported the intent of the TFG bill, it did not believe a blanket ban was realistic or workable.

He said the proposal to raise the smoking age would simply be an extension of existing laws, which he said were understood by the community and worked well.

“Any change to the legal smoking age would be phased in over time,” he said. “And as we’ve made clear, any move to raise the minimum legal smoking age would be part of a range of continuing measures that red­uce smoking uptake and enc­ourage smokers to quit.”

Category: Breaking News

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