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Quit and Cancer Council Victoria commend new legislation to extend tobacco controls and stop vaping product promotion online

Posted 7 Dec, 2023

Quit and Cancer Council Victoria commend new legislation to extend tobacco controls and put a stop to social media promotion of vaping products in Australia

Thursday, 7 December 2023

Quit and Cancer Council Victoria today congratulated the Australian Parliament on its support for the Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) Bill.  

Developed over the past four years, this substantial legislation consolidates seven separate national laws and regulations passed over the last five decades. It also introduces controls on additives to tobacco products that make them more attractive and palatable to children.

The new expanded legislation will: 

  • Extend marketing controls on advertising of tobacco & vaping products through social media 

  • Standardise the look not just of the packaging but also of the cigarette itself 

  • Limit packaging size to ensure that tobacco products are not affordable to teenagers 

  • Get rid of brand and variant names that misleadingly suggest reduced harm or which distract from the harmfulness of the product 

  • Mandate package warnings on health conditions caused by smoking as well as information about quitting 

  • Require tobacco companies to report on exactly what they add to tobacco products, what they spend on marketing, and how many and what products they import and sell 

  • Make it easier for the Government to enforce the legislation. 

CEO Cancer Council Victoria, Todd Harper AM has welcomed the passage of the Bill.  

“These new laws bring tobacco control in Australia into the 21st Century and the digital age. And crucially, they close old legal loopholes Big Tobacco has been exploiting for too long”.  

In the 1970s, Cancer Council Victoria was the first organisation in Australia to call on the Government to ban broadcasting of tobacco advertisements on radio and TV. It campaigned for decades for an end to tobacco sponsorship of sport which had grown exponentially because of a loophole in the ban on broadcasting.  

“Cancer Council Victoria congratulates the Australian Parliament on passage of this legislation which should greatly curtail the promotion of smoking and vaping products through sponsorship and through social media where many young people socialise and source their information,’ added Harper.  

Director of Quit, Rachael Andersen noted the new legislation includes many practical measures to prevent young people from starting to smoke, and crucially it also includes information which will make it easier for people wanting access to support to quit.  

“The controls on additives that affect addictiveness of tobacco products represent a significant public health win. And at Quit we are especially pleased to see every tobacco product must now include user-friendly information about how to quit, including details about our Quitline and other services.” 

Cancer Council Victoria research has shown high levels of public support for health promotion inserts, particularly among people who smoke. 

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