The Government Hits Hard Against Tobacco Companies
The government has launched an attack on the tobacco industry by allocating $3.1 million towards the new tobacco packaging laws in the Federal Budget today.
According to the Department of Health and Ageing, the laws require all tobacco products sold in Australia from 1 December 2012, to be in plain packages.
Mr Swan pointed out in his speech that, “this Budget is about discipline and restraint but also about priorities; ensuring precious funds are re‑directed to the purposes and people that need them most”.
Australia’s new Tobacco Legislation is among one of these prioritised areas.
Cancer Council Spokesperson Libby Knight pointed out the importance of this new legislation.
“I think it’s really going to reduce the appeal of cigarette packaging and therefore reduce the appeal of what’s inside. Also, it’s going to probably take away from young people identifying with a brand,” Mrs Knight stated.
Although the enforcement of these laws won’t receive any financial support after 2012, the budget points out the Government will continue to provide funding to defend the new laws against domestic and foreign tobacco companies until 2015, as they have been doing from 2011. Due to Government security reasons, the funding amounts remain unavailable to the public.
Also, Tobacco companies were excluded from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Budget. Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health, Anne Jones, was satisfied with this decision.
“The ACT government decision to exclude tobacco from its $2.3 Billion super fund shows socially responsible policies can balance the need for proper returns with good governance,” Mrs Jones stated.