Cancer Council Australia

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Plain tobacco packaging a winner with Australians: new poll

New research shows plain packaging of cigarettes is supported by the majority of Australians, despite the tobacco industry's continued attempts to undermine the groundbreaking health initiative.

A 2011 Newspoll telephone survey of 1200 adults, commissioned by Cancer Council Australia, has found while just over two in ten people (24%) disapprove of cigarettes being sold in plain packaging, almost six out of ten (59%) adults approve of the policy.

Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Tobacco Issues Committee, Caroline Miller, said the survey results reflected the Australian community's longstanding support for policies that put public health interests before tobacco industry profits.

?Despite desperate and contradictory arguments against plain packaging from the tobacco industry, the majority of Australians support the initiative,? Ms Miller said.

?Restrictions to other forms of tobacco advertising, such as broadcast ad bans, have long been socially accepted ? which is why old footage of television ads for tobacco products looks so strange to contemporary eyes.

?If the Australian community's support for plain packaging translates to the passage of legislation in Federal Parliament as it should, in years to come the concept of glossy, stylised cigarette packaging will seem equally anachronistic.?

Ms Miller said the evidence to support plain packaging, including a recent review of 20 years? of targeted studies released by Cancer Council Australia last week*, was compelling.

?So it's very encouraging to see that plain packaging is supported by the community, as well as by the science,? she said.

?From what we know now, there is no valid reason to oppose plain packaging. 

?The evidence is there, the community support is there and the desperate campaign being waged by the tobacco industry is further indication that it should work. 

?It's no wonder almost three times as many Australians support plain packaging as those who oppose it.

?The Parliament has a unique opportunity to translate the evidence and the public support into groundbreaking policy with great potential to further reduce tobacco consumption in Australia, which remains by far the nation's major preventable cause of cancer death.?

Review of evidence here

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

This page was last updated on: Monday, August 6, 2012

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