January 12, 2012 - 2010 stands to be seen as the year in which Australian governments moved more decisively on smoking than any other governments anywhere around the world.
Tobacco tax increase - April 29, 2010 - the 25 percent increase was announced by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and put into force overnight on the same day (adding about $2.16 to a pack of 30 cigarettes). According to Maurice Swanson, tobacco control spokesperson for the Heart Foundation, the tobacco tax had not been increased in real terms for a decade. There are now even calls to further increase the tobacco tax. (Australia - tobacco tax increase results in more people quitting..
Plain packaging for tobacco products - April 29, 2010 - Australia will force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging, removing all color and branding logos within two years, in a world-first move aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths. Starting July 1, 2012, tobacco products would have to be sold in the plainest of packaging — with few or no logos, brand images or colors. Promotional text would be restricted to brand and product names in a standard color, position, type style and size. (Australia - world set to follow Australian tobacco policy.. This action won praise from the World Health Organization (WHO), which welcomed the measures as "a new gold standard for the regulation of tobacco products."
National Preventive Health Agency Act 2010 - on November 17, 2010 the parliament passed this act for federal funding the National Preventative Health Agency. The Preventative Health Taskforce consisted of the nation's health experts was established in April 2008 to develop the Strategy that provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Australia - Comments on the National Preventative Health Taskforce's Proposal..
Ban smoking in indoor workplaces - all six states and territories have prohibited smoking in indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants.
No smoking in cars in which children are present - The majority of states, if not all, have also passed laws that make it illegal to smoke in cars in which children are present.
Prohibiting Display of Tobacco Products - The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, have all passed legislation prohibiting the display of tobacco products, with implementation due in phases between 2010 and 2013. State and Territory laws prohibit tobacco advertising at the point-of-sale. The bans on tobacco advertising are being updated to preclude advertising through the internet.
Also - E-cigarettes (electronic, ENDs = electronic nicotine delivery system) have been banned by Australia. (E-Cigarettes: The New Frontier In War On Smoking by Debbie Elliott, NPR, 8/5/2009) There is a ban on supplying smokeless tobacco products in Australia.
The State of Western Australia probably accomplished the most, when compared with the other Australian states, in tobacco control in 2010. (Congratulations Western Australia (WA) - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..)
Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon has stated, "we are killing people by not acting”. Tens of thousands of Australians in years to come will owe their lives to the action that was taken in 2010.
Reference: 2010: The best year for tobacco control, Mike Daube is Professor of Health Policy, Curtin University and President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, 1/12/2011.