Continued successful court rulings throughout the world strengthens Australia’s landmark decision to introduce plain packaging of cigarette products.
On World No Tobacco Day today, the World Health Organization is calling upon all countries to get ready for plain packing. Those joining Australia implementing plain packaging laws include France, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Heart Foundation Tobacco Control Spokesperson Maurice Swanson said tobacco plain packaging had contributed to around 25% of the total decline in the prevalence of smoking since introduced in 2012.
“Signs the legislation is working were confirmed in the Federal Government’s Tobacco Plain Packaging – Post Implementation Review. This has resulted in tens of thousands of Australians quitting and subsequently saved the lives of many Australians,” Swanson says.
“Plain packaging works by reducing the aesthetic appeal of smoking and eliminating youth appeal.
“Mounting evidence shows plain packaging, along with increases in tobacco tax and smoke-free areas, effectively works on discouraging both children and adults alike from taking up, or continuing to smoke.
“This is why there has been strong opposition from tobacco companies and international efforts taken to stop plain packaging. The Australian Government has been courageous in its continuing defence of what is world-leading legislation.
“The legislation was always designed for long-term impact and if these results are merely the start of the journey, a smoke-free Australia could one day be a reality.
“The prevalence of daily smoking in Australia is now at just 12% and continuing to decline.
“It cannot be denied that smoking takes its toll on the health of so many Australians and their families, and is a leading cause of preventable death in our community.
“On World No Tobacco Day we’re calling on all Australian smokers to continue to take the steps towards a healthier you by butting out.
“It is plain to see – the status of smoking is out of puff.”