VicHealth has welcomed the passing of landmark tobacco legislation, which it says positions Australia as a world leader in tobacco control.
The new Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) Bill 2023 passed in parliament on December 7.
It includes measures to update and improve graphic warnings on tobacco products, restricting the use of flavours and stopping advertising of e-cigarettes.
VicHealth chief executive Dr Sandro Demaio said the updated legislation is a critical step in protecting future generations of Australians from the harms of tobacco and nicotine.
“Big tobacco continues to find ways to undermine public health through increasingly sneaky marketing tactics,” Dr Demaio said.
“The passing of this legislation ensures Australia will once again be a world leader in tobacco control.
“We commend Minister [Mark] Butler’s continued advocacy and the Australian parliament for putting the health of our children above the profits of the tobacco industry.
“The legislation highlights the urgency required to protect young people from the promotion and advertising of e-cigarettes, which are specifically designed to appeal to young people and threaten to unravel decades of hard work in tobacco control.”
Tobacco use is estimated to kill more than 50 Australians every day, which equals about 20,000 every year. It is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Australia.
VicHealth said it is committed to working alongside all levels of government to protect, educate and support a new generation of Australians from the dangers of nicotine addiction.