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Media Release

Cancer Council supports government rejection of big, bad tobacco’s latest ploy

27 August 2020

Cancer Council has welcomed the Australian Department of Health’s decision to maintain current nicotine poison controls to prevent the marketing and sale of novel tobacco products.

The decision, which in effect prevents the sale of heat-not-burn tobacco products, was based on advice provided to the Department of Health by Australia’s independent regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia said, “The decision is consistent with scientific evidence showing that novel heated tobacco products do not assist smokers to quit.

“There is, however, growing evidence that these products are aggressively promoted to young people, as we are seeing in countries which do not have independent statutory controls around public health policy like Australia does.”

The decision comes following last month’s data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which showed smoking rates to have dropped to an all-time low of 11.5%.

“This week’s announcement will be bad news for the tobacco industry, but it is a win for the health of young Australians. Around 97% of Australians aged under 18 now report having never smoked.

“The tobacco industry is hell-bent on destroying our national successes in reducing the use of tobacco products, as they continue to look for cunning new ways to addict young people to nicotine and tobacco products.

“If Australian health policy continues to be guided by rigorous scientific evidence that is independently evaluated, we can expect to see continued reductions in Australians smoking rates.”

The final decision comes after the TGA consulted thoroughly on the submission and made the interim decision in June to reject tobacco giant, Philip Morris’ application to weaken poisons controls to allow the importation and selling of their novel heated tobacco products.

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Media Enquiries
Please contact Darcy Witherdin in the Cancer Council Australia media team on (02) 8063 4109 or email media@cancer.org.au
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