New South Wales - tough new anti-tobacco laws approved..

July 30, 2008
- New South Wales (NSW) Premier Morris Iemma and his Cabinet Members Protecting the Health of their Constituents. Premier Iemma: "When it comes to smoking, we'll always err on the side of caution."

Supermarkets will be banned from displaying cigarettes within six months and small retailers will have to hide packets behind their counters within a year under the laws. Premier Iemma: "Tobacco companies advertise their products for one reason - they want more customers. We want them to have [fewer]. So we're going to take them out of eyesight, and ensure young people aren't tempted into taking up smoking by glossy advertising or marketing pressure when they go shopping. We also have an obligation to those who've kicked the habit."

Cigarette vending machines will be restricted to pubs and clubs and they will accept only tokens, which smokers will have to buy from the bar. The machines will not be allowed to display any advertising.

Tobacconists will have to black out their windows so cigarettes are not visible from the street and within four years they will also have to keep them under counters.

Smoking in cars with children under 16 will also be banned. Premier Iemma: "Children in cars should not be forced to breathe in toxins from their parents' cigarettes. If parents smoke in cars, they take that health choice away from their children. I'm determined to enforce that responsibility, even if some parents aren't."

The Premier Morris Iemma will provide greater detail today and stated that he did not care if the laws seemed "over the top".

Minister Assisting the Health Minister (Cancer), Verity Firth, took the anti-tobacco plan to the Cabinet. Ms Firth said research showed that as many as 27 per cent of cigarettes bought were purchased on impulse and that young smokers and recent quitters were most likely to buy cigarettes on impulse. "Point-of-sale displays act as cues to smoke even among those smokers trying to avoid smoking or not intending to purchase cigarettes," Ms Firth said. "A recent Cancer Institute NSW survey found that 31.4 per cent of frequent smokers said that storing tobacco products out of sight in shops would make it easier for them to quit."

Reference: Cigarette displays to be banned by Alexandra Smith, The Standard, 7/30/2008.

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