State of Victoria Releases 5-Year Tobacco Control Strategy...

August 26, 2008 - The Victorian Government released for comment the Tobacco Control Strategy 2008-2013. Submissions for consultation with health professionals, industry and the wider community must be received by September 18, 2008.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the strategy was driven by a set of ambitious targets to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Victoria, mainly concerned with reducing smoking amongst various adult groups (e.g., pregnant women, Aboriginal and other high-prevalence groups.)

NO Mention of Youngsters - the future leaders of Australia.

Premier John Brumby said the strategy contained a number of proposals to further reduce tobacco-related harm, including: a ban of smoking in cars when children are present, a ban or restriction on tobacco point-of-sale displays in retail outlets and providing Ministerial power to ban youth-orientated tobacco products and packages, such as fruit-flavored cigarettes.

Banning smoking when children are in the car is a no-brainer - even Philip Morris agrees. The ban on youth-oriented tobacco products goes hand-in-hand with a total ban on tobacco point-of sales displays in retail outlets. Why the hesitation on the part of the government?? From the government's own document; the 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that 70 per cent of respondents supported bans on point-of-sale advertising and the display of tobacco products (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2005). Tobacco companies will just cheat if displays are simply lowered from 4sq meters to 1sq meter. Observations made in 42 milk bars located near schools in Melbourne and Geelong found tobacco displays to have a highly visible presence, often being positioned alongside products attractive to children and adolescents (Germain et al., 2006).

From New Zealand: More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking... The neighboring State of New South Wales just approved total ban on tobacco displays in stores.

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