5 reasons we need tougher tobacco laws in WA

Posted 28 Feb 2017.

In the lead up to the election on March 11 we are calling on the next state government to set a target to cap and then reduce the number of WA tobacco licence holders over the next 4 years, and increase the annual tobacco sellers licence fee.

Here’s Why:

1. Tobacco smoking is responsible for over 1600 deaths per year and 52 hospital admissions every day in WA.

2. 2 out of 3 smokers will die from smoking if they can’t quit. Increased tobacco availability makes it harder for people to quit and results in unplanned purchases of tobacco products.

3. It’s alarming that a highly addictive and deadly product is more available than bread and milk, with very few restrictions on who can sell it and where.

4. Having tobacco available in almost every retail environment sends a contradictory message about how harmful it is.

5. There is a wealth of evidence that proves communities with higher numbers of tobacco sellers have higher adult and youth smoking rates.


Our community survey results also show:

• 1 in 2 WA adults support reducing the number of shops that sell tobacco.

• 1 in 3 WA smokers support reducing the number of shops that sell tobacco.



Michael’s Story

Michael Green is a 25 year old science student at UWA who successfully quit smoking nine months ago after a 12 year addiction. “I used to find I never had to walk too far to find smokes to buy,” said Michael.

“So the fact you’re seeing them for sale so regularly really does make it tougher to quit which is why I think the government should make them much harder to buy.”

Our Make Smoking History Manager, Libby Jardine said Michael’s experience is backed up by Australian and international research that suggests fewer retailers selling tobacco in a community will help reduce the number of West Australians taking up smoking and help current smokers quit for good without the temptation to resume.

Michael is one of the 12 West Australians who feature in our new ‘From Every Quitter’ advertising campaign who have either recently quit smoking or are currently attempting to quit.

The campaign is based on research conducted in 2015 by the Western Australian Cancer Prevention Research Unit at Curtin University that found seeing ‘other people smoke’ was a key trigger to smoke. It also found that one of the top barriers to quitting was having ‘loved ones who are smokers’.

“I really liked being part of the campaign because it was a positive message and a really different take on messages we’ve heard from earlier quit smoking campaigns,” he said.

“I absolutely endorse the ‘don’t smoke around me’ messages in this campaign, ‘but I’d also like to see tobacco selling restrictions considered as one way to help people quit in WA.’

Please help us make smoking history and sign our petition today. By combining our voices, united against cancer, we can make a real difference - and it only takes 30 seconds of your time. Find out more about our election priorities here.


Find out more about our ‘From Every Quitter’ campaign here. If you want to talk to someone about quitting call the Quit line on 13 78 48. For confidential, cancer-related information contact our Cancer Nurses on 13 11 20.


Stay up to date! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Found in:  News - 2017  | View all news