Background: The Victorian Government's Tobacco Control Strategy 2008-2013 included ministerial power to ban youth-orientated tobacco products and packages, such as fruit-flavored cigarettes. (State of Victoria Releases 5-Year Tobacco Control Strategy..) The strategy has set an ambitious target to reduce the number of Victorian adults who smoke to 13.8 per cent by 2013.Mr Andrews said research has found that fruit and confectionary flavoured cigarettes were particularly appealing to young females. “Research by Cancer Council Victoria shows that 40 percent of 16-17 year olds females agree that lolly or fruit flavoured cigarettes made them curious to try them, and one third of males indicated the products would tempt them to try cigarettes,” he said.
As of January 1, 2010 - Victoria, Australia - ban on smoking in cars when children under 18 are present comes into force..
“This new ban will come into force to ensure teenagers do not start smoking through the lure of fruit and lolly flavoured cigarettes.” Under legislation passed last year, individuals caught selling flavoured cigarettes can be fined $500, while businesses will face $7000 fines for each breach. Mr Andrews said fruit and lolly flavoured cigarettes now on sale were nothing but "a cynical marketing ploy to trick young people into taking up smoking".
Mr Andrews said the 2008 Australian Secondary Student’s Alcohol and Drug Survey showed smoking rates among students are at their lowest level in more than 20 years. “Six per cent of 12-15 year olds and 14 per cent of 16-17 year olds are current smokers – half the number of teens who were smoking in 2002,” he said. “This means that there are around 9000 fewer young Victorians smoking regularly compared to 2005.
Other findings from the 2008 Australian Secondary Student’s Alcohol and Drug Survey - see second reference - Source: Government of Victoria.
References: Lolly cigarette ban to curb teenage smoking, Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, 6/1/2010; Lolly And Fruit Flavored Cigarettes To Be Banned In Victoria, Source: Government of Victoria, Govmonitor.com, 5/31/2010.
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