Australia - providing cigarette ingredients to smokers won't help them quit..

March 26, 2009 - In 2000, then federal health minister Michael Wooldridge convinced the three major tobacco companies to voluntarily disclose their cigarette ingredients to allow the government to post the information online. (Australian Cigarette Ingredient Disclosure.

Late last year, the federal Department of Health and Ageing engaged the Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute to assess the public health value of disclosing cigarette ingredients and emissions data, as proposed by some health groups.

They found the agreement negotiated by Dr. Wooldridge was unlikely to have directly promoted or protected the health of Australians. "In research with smokers, non-smokers, and tobacco control stakeholders, the currently disclosed emissions and ingredient information was seen to be incomprehensible, uninteresting, incomplete and difficult to access," the January 2009 report states. "Most members of the public had not and did not intend to access the information (and) providing members of the public with the disclosed information did not seem to discourage them from smoking."

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Jan McLucas yesterday (March 25, 2009) said the Government would await a report from the National Preventative Health Taskforce before taking any further action on smoking.

Reference: Smokers don't care about labels, Sean Parnell, FOI editor, The Australian, 3/26/2009.