NSW - Clerical Error 2008 Tobacco Bill Corrected..

October 27, 2008 - The New South Wales State Government has blamed a clerical error for the inclusion of a clause in the Public Health Tobacco Bill 2008 which would have enabled tobacco companies to circumvent existing federal legislation that bans advertising of cigarette products but is unclear about areas such as sponsorship.

The clerical error if not removed would have bypassed existing ad bans and allowed tobacco companies to sponsor high-profile sports such as motor racing and horse racing. Under existing laws, tobacco companies can still sponsor a sport but are prohibited from promoting their involvement. Experts said that had the NSW bill gone through, tobacco brands would have been able to bag the naming rights to headline horse or car races.

The new Premier, Nathan Rees, made the embarrassing admission after his Health Department came under fire for inserting the clause into a bill drawn up to curb sale of cigarettes to minors.

On September 5, 2008 the New South Wales (NSW) Premier Morris Iemma resigned and was replaced by Nathan Rees. Premier Iemma has been a strong promoter of tobacco control and recently announced the toughest and most sweeping reforms to tobacco laws in the nation and as he stated,"it's all about protecting the health of our children and our grandchildren."

Reference: Tobacco bill glitch goes up in smoke, Julian Lee Marketing Reporter, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10/25/2008.

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