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Media Release

Cancer Council welcomes release of National Tobacco Strategy, restoring Australia’s commitment to reduce smoking rates

May 2, 2023

Cancer Council Australia today welcomes the federal government’s release of the National Tobacco Strategy (2023-2030), demonstrating crucial commitment to restore Australia’s reputation as a world-leader in tobacco control and reduce smoking rates.

The Federal Government today released the long-awaited National Tobacco Strategy outlining a comprehensive suite of critical tobacco control measures to equitably reduce smoking prevalence to below 10% by 2025 and below 5% or less by 2030.

“Today, Minister Butler took critical action to protect the health of all Australians from the tobacco industry who continue to deliberately exploit and fuel nicotine addiction” said Professor Tanya Buchanan, CEO of Cancer Council Australia.

“As public health experts, we understand the need for a multi-pronged and comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco and nicotine addiction.”

“This National Tobacco Strategy provides us with a very comprehensive road map for action to accelerate the decline in smoking rates and to address nicotine addiction. This includes policies to both discourage people from starting smoking whilst best supporting individuals to successfully quit for good,” Professor Buchanan added.

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and cancer in Australia, and up to two in three people who smoke will die from smoking related illness.

“We’ve been awaiting the release of this strategy and look forward to seeing the strategy turned into action across the country.”

“Australia’s smoking prevalence has halved over the past 25 years, as we’ve seen Australia's world leading plain packaging laws and other measures to decrease the affordability, supply, access and promotion of tobacco products take effect. This new strategy builds on this momentum to ensure these declines are experienced equitably by all Australians,” Ms Alecia Brooks, Chair of Cancer Council’s Tobacco Issues Committee, explains.
The latest data shows more than 2 million Australians continue to smoke inherently harmful tobacco products.

Most Australian smokers want to quit, and 70% are actively planning to do so.

The National Tobacco Strategy (2023-2030) reflects the evidence-based recommendations from Cancer Council and other public health leaders, whilst fulfilling our international obligations as a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“We look forward to seeing the urgent funding to appropriately deliver the strategy, so we can accelerate the decline in smoking rates and ultimately, save lives,” concludes Professor Buchanan.

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