New tobacco laws will help smokers quit and protect kids

Posted 15 Mar 2019.

WA health groups applaud Government on overdue tobacco reforms
New laws will help smokers quit and protect kids

The Health Minister has today announced new tobacco seller laws to affect sales, signage, smoking areas. The new laws, coming into effect on Monday, will protect kids, and smokers trying to quit.

Our research shows strong support for these new measures from WA adults.

"We congratulate the State Government for passing the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill 2017 that includes a number of strong measures to protect WA kids from exposure to tobacco products," says Kelly Kennington, Cancer Council WA's Policy and Strategy Manager.

"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 welcome tougher restrictions on the sale of products blatantly designed to appeal to young people, including fruit and confectionery flavoured cigarettes."

"The new law to ban tobacco sales at major events such as music festivals and sporting events will put an end to tobacco companies exploiting promotional and sales opportunities to reach young people."

"We're not alone in supporting these changes. Our survey of WA adults shows very strong public support for these new measures (over 90 per cent)"

"Having ‘buffer zones' around entrances will protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, support those trying to quit and denormalise smoking, particularly for children"

"When surveyed, approximately half of smokers trying to quit said creating more smoke-free places will make it easier to stop smoking."

"More smoke-free public places will protect the 2.3 million West Australian non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke. Nobody should have to walk through someone else's cigarette smoke."

Maurice Swanson, Director of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said these new laws are overdue, and the Government has sent a clear signal it puts health before profits.

"Finally, specialist tobacconists are no longer exempt from tobacco product display bans. Given many of these stores are located in busy shopping precincts, closing this loophole will stop kids from being exposed to tobacco advertising and take away visual triggers for smokers trying to quit," Mr Swanson said.

"This law brings WA's legislation in line with most other jurisdictions including Queensland, ACT, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory."

"Another important law coming into effect is the reduction in size of cigarette price boards, and the introduction of graphic health warnings for those retailers who choose to use price boards. This is an important strategy proven to support West Australians who are trying to quit, as we know from research that the mere sight of a price board can trigger cravings and derail quit attempts."

"We look forward to working with the McGowan Government to continue to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce smoking prevalence in WA. Such measures including 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 to prevent young people from starting."


More information 

  • Smoking prevalence in WA is at an all-time low at 9.1 per cent 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.
  • Learn more about our Make Smoking History program here. 

Found in:  News - 2019 | View all news