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Media Release

Cancer Council welcomes landmark legislation to reignite the fight against smoking and nicotine addiction

September 12, 2023

Cancer Council Australia welcomes the new landmark Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) Bill 2023 introduced today, as a critical action to prevent and further reduce harm caused by tobacco products and nicotine addiction.

Smoking rates have more than halved in the last 30 years, yet tobacco smoking remains Australia’s leading cause of preventable death, and illness, including cancer.

The legislation simplifies, modernises and helps future-proof tobacco control in Australia.

“More than 250,000 Australians are predicted to die of smoking-related cancers over the next 20 years. This is truly unacceptable because smoking-related cancers are entirely preventable,” said Professor Tanya Buchanan, Cancer Council Australia’s CEO.

“This legislation reflects the latest evidence and is a significant step in reducing smoking rates to less than 5% by 2030,” Professor Buchanan notes.

“Australia has a proud legacy of world leading tobacco control initiatives, and we have the evidence, expertise, and experience to support more smokers to quit and stop new generations from starting,”

“We congratulate Health Minister Mark Butler on his commitment to restore this legacy, putting us back into a ‘world leading’ position,” said Professor Buchanan.

“Cancer Council encourages every member of Parliament to take this critical opportunity to protect all Australians from Big Tobacco seeking profiting off their deadly products.”

“This legislation gives more Australians the chance to live longer, healthier lives free from tobacco,” Professor Buchanan concludes.

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