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Cancer Council Victoria and Quit Victoria welcome regulatory review

Posted 28 Oct, 2021

Cancer Council Victoria and Quit Victoria welcome regulatory review of the sale of tobacco products in Victoria

Cancer Council Victoria and Quit Victoria welcome the move by the Victorian Government to reviewing its tobacco regulation framework with a view to strengthening enforcement of laws that prohibit the sale of cigarettes and e-cigarettes to children and the sale of illicit tobacco.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said there was international evidence to show that the introduction of a tobacco retail licencing scheme can adequately enforce laws designed to improve health by protecting children from addiction to nicotine and helping people to quit smoking.

“Victoria and Queensland are the only jurisdictions without a regulated licensing scheme for the sale of tobacco, so Quit Victoria welcomes a state-wide licencing system to ensure both state and local governments know exactly who is selling tobacco and e-cigarette products,” she said.

“Victoria has fallen well behind best practice and the rest of Australia when it comes to enforcing state laws aimed at protecting public health. The consequences of not having a retail licensing scheme in place means retailers, who are breaking the law by selling illicit tobacco or by selling cigarettes or e-cigarettes to kids, are not being regularly monitored and caught,” Dr White said.

Mr Todd Harper CEO of Cancer Council Victoria said that research on Victorian attitudes conducted by the Cancer Council and other research by the team at La Trobe University on Australian attitudes had shown high levels of support for the licensing of tobacco and e-cigarette retailers. 

“About 83 per cent of Victorians supported the idea that retailers should have a license to sell tobacco products,” Mr Harper said.

“The introduction of a retail licensing scheme in Victoria would mean that retailers doing the wrong thing are penalised appropriately. It would be a strong deterrent to selling cigarettes or e-cigarettes to children, for example, if repeat offenders could lose their license to sell at all,” Mr Harper said.

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