Cancer Council Australia

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Cancer Council commends Opposition support for plain tobacco packaging

The federal Opposition should be commended for supporting the Government's proposal to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products sold in Australia from July next year, Cancer Council Australia said today (31 May 2011).

Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Tobacco Issues Committee, Caroline Miller, said the Opposition's decision to back the bill was a continuation of Australia's strong track record of bipartisan support for policy measures that can significantly reduce the negative health impact of smoking.

"We understand that while the Coalition will move amendments to the plain packaging bill, they will nonetheless support the bill even if their amendments are not accommodated by the Parliament," Ms Miller said.

"So, in effect, the plain packaging bill will succeed - and the real winner will be population health in Australia."

Ms Miller said Cancer Council Australia had remained optimistic that plain packaging would receive bipartisan support.

"There is compelling evidence that plain packaging of tobacco products will discourage smoking, particularly among young people who are at risk of long-term tobacco addiction," she said.

"Given the federal Coalition's longstanding support for restricting other forms of tobacco advertising, we had remained optimistic that, once a review of evidence was published, they would support the initiative."

The review of the evidence on plain packaging is available here

Media contact:
Abby Samuel
Phone: 02 8063 4100 
Mobile: 0432 693 315 

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