The Government’s 2012-13 budget decision to cut inbound duty-free tobacco sales will help reduce the nation’s cancer burden, according to Cancer Council Australia.
Cancer Council CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said enabling Australians to bring in large quantities of tobacco without paying duty was an anomaly.
“Tobacco tax serves two purposes,” Professor Olver said. “It encourages people to quit – more effectively than any other public policy intervention; and it raises funds that can help pay for the enormous financial burden smoking imposes on the community.
“At present, inbound travellers can bring in in 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco products tax-free – an anomaly that encourages consumption of an extremely harmful substance. Committing to slash the tax-free intake level to 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products by 1 September will discourage people from purchasing bulk quantities of the world’s most harmful carcinogen.”
Professor Olver commended the Government for yet another initiative that consolidates Australia’s standing as a world leader in reducing the harms of smoking, less than six months after passing groundbreaking laws to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products.