Australia is considering BANNING cigarettes as part of new law that would gradually increase age people can buy smokes
Australia could ban teenagers from ever buying cigarettes by gradually increasing the age limit at which people can buy smokes.
The government will closely monitor Rishi Sunak’s pledge to stub out smoking in England by annually raising the age of the legal purchase of tobacco by a year. A similar law has already been introduced in New Zealand.
Australian Health Minister Mark Butler told the ABC he would be keeping a close eye on the moves in England and New Zealand.
‘The government has taken an evidence-based approach, following a deep review of existing tobacco regulation, but also best practice across the world,’ Mr Butler said.
‘The UK and New Zealand have responded to the specific tactics of ‘Big Tobacco’ marketed to their populations, and we will monitor their implementation success with interest.’
Announcing the moves during his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Mr Sunak acknowledged it had been a difficult decision to support the policy.
But he added it was the right decision for the nation’s children to ‘break the cycle’ of smoking addiction.
‘If we are to do the right thing for our kids we must try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place,’ he said.
‘Four in five smokers have started by the time 20, later the vast majority try to quit but fail because they are addicted.
‘I propose we raise the smoking age by one year every year. That means a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette meaning they and their generation will grow up smoke free,’ he said.
The Australian government introduced legislation earlier this year that will see recreational vaping banned.
Vapes will only be sold in pharmacies to people with a prescription.
Tobacco use kills about 50 Australians every day, or about 20,000 every year.