We congratulate the State Government for passing the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill 2017 that includes a number of strong measures that will protect WA children from exposure to tobacco products.
One of the Amendments will see WA as the first state where only adults are able to sell tobacco. This will fix a major inconsistency in the previous Act that prohibited the sale or supply of tobacco products to minors, but allowed minors to sell tobacco products.
"It is completely unfathomable that until now, children have been given the unfair responsibility of selling a deadly and highly addictive product that kills two thirds of its users," Our Policy and Strategy Manager Kelly Kennington explains.
"We also welcome tougher restrictions on the sale of products blatantly designed to appeal to young people, including fruit and confectionery flavoured cigarettes.
"The new law that puts an end to tobacco sales at major events such as music festivals and fashion shows that young people frequent will put an end to this type of promotional and sales opportunities that are often exploited by tobacco companies to reach to young people.
"It's essential we do everything we can to prevent our kids from taking up this deadly habit, and these new reforms are an important step in the right direction.
"We're not alone in supporting these changes - surveys conducted with WA adults show over 90 per cent of strongly support for these new measures.
"We look forward to working with the McGowan Government to continue to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce smoking prevalence in WA, such measures include the continuation of TV-led public education campaigns to encourage smokers to quit, and strong regulatory measures on how tobacco is used, sold and marketed in WA in order to prevent young people from starting," Ms Kennington said.
• Smoking prevalence in WA is at an all-time low at 9.1% for adult daily smokers. But this figure is still too high given it equates to around 187,100 West Australians at serious risk of death and diseases caused by tobacco.
• Every day in WA, 4 people die and 52 people are hospitalised due to tobacco related diseases
• Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia, contributing to more drug-related hospitalisations and deaths than alcohol and illicit drugs combined.
For help to quit smoking, visit our Make Smoking History website.