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Smoking may cost the Aussie economy $388bn in lost productivity

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Named unexpected use of tobacco

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Sharp drop in Australian teenagers’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco

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Principles that Underpin the Current Policy and Regulatory Approach to Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes) in Australia

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AustralianSuper to quit big tobacco in $900m blow for Philip Morris, British American Tobacco

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Where there’s smoke: Embattled MP’s brother caught selling smuggled Chinese ciggies

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World tobacco experts in Hobart to stamp out smoking

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Have your say on smoke-free places

WE’RE urging Queenslanders to speak out and have their say about smoke-free places across the state to help shape the future of tobacco control in Queensland.

Cancer Council Queensland, Heart Foundation and Asthma Foundation have launched a statewide survey on smoking, giving Queenslanders the opportunity to share their opinion about current and future smoke-free places.

The survey will gauge support on current tobacco laws and identify additional areas the community would like to see smoke-free, including outdoor public areas and multi-unit housing.

Tobacco is having a detrimental effect on the health of our state. Those who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke are at a much greater risk of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancers.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia. In Queensland alone around 3700 people die from a tobacco-related disease each year.

This survey will give the public a voice to help advocate for stronger tobacco legislation reforms through the extension of statewide smoke-free places in Queensland.

Will you share your views? Have your say to help clear the air for thousands of Queenslanders impacted by second-hand smoke.

If you’re a Queenslander aged 18 and over, please complete our Smoke-free Places Survey at smokefreeplacessurvey by October 16.

All responses are anonymous and confidential.

Ms Chris McMillan

CEO, Cancer Council Queensland

Global tobacco giant Philip Morris commits to a ‘smoke-free’ future in Australia

TOBACCO giant Philip Morris will on Thursday commit to a “smoke-free” Australia in a push to legalise reduced-risk alternatives to replace cigarettes.

The company will tell a federal parliamentary inquiry on electronic cigarettes that technology has rapidly transformed its business away from cigarettes in favour of smoke-free alternatives.

E-cigarettes containing nicotine are not regulated as therapeutic goods in Australia and cannot be legally imported for personal use.

Australian medicines regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not support the use of electronic cigarettes.

Philip Morris scientific affairs fellow Maurice Smith said every level of the global company was committed to “transitioning away” from cigarettes “as soon as possible” — a process it has already begun in 30 countries.

Mr Smith will tell the hearing in Melbourne that more than three million smokers worldwide — and more than 8000 smokers a day — had switched to Philip Morris’s IQOS, which heats tobacco rather than burning it.

He said the rapid consumer acceptance had made it possible for cigarette smoking to become obsolete.

The product has already captured 10 per cent of its worldwide market.

“Ironically, although many share our vision of a smoke-free Australia, the law in Australia, unique in the world, requires that all tobacco products must be smoked,” Mr Smith said.

While the Council of Australia has conceded e-cigarettes are “probably less harmful to health” than traditional cigarettes, it says and the short- and long-term health effects are not yet known.

It says claims e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking are “unsubstantiated” and unfair to consumers.

Chairman of the parliamentary Standing Committee for Health, Aged Care and Sport Trent Zimmerman, said it was important for politicians to query the implications of the growing body of research on the health impacts of e-cigarettes.

Phillip Morris has pledged $US80 million a year until 2030 to develop alternative measures to reduce the harm caused by smoking.

The research is headed by former World Health Organisation cabinet director, Dr Derek Yach.

Andrew Forrest calls for smoking age to be raised to 21

Australians would be prohibited from buying cigarettes until age 21 under a new cancer-fighting plan developed by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

Mr Forrest and his wife Nicola are spearheading a major lobbying campaign to convince federal and state governments to raise the legal tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 – a move they say would stop young people getting hooked, save lives and save government coffers up to $3.1 billion a year.

Mr Forrest and other members of the Eliminate Cancer Initiative – which the Forrests fund through their philanthropic Minderoo Foundation – have already presented the plan to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and his state counterparts as part of an all-out assault on big tobacco.

The effort comes after Mr Forrest confirmed last week he is considering suing big tobacco companies for the cost of smoking-related illnesses. The plan is based on a landmark Canadian lawsuit in which three companies were ordered to pay more than $15.6 billion in damages.

Mr Forrest said tobacco companies – which he described as “more cunning than a gold-toothed rat” – must be held accountable for the suffering they have caused Australians. And they cannot be allowed to continue “preying on our vulnerable youth”, he said.

“Nearly 90 per cent of adult smokers start as children. By the time they reach 21, they are hooked and become lifelong customers of big tobacco,” Mr Forrest said.

“When tobacco causes many times more cost to the nation that it ever brings in revenue, and creates extreme suffering before palliative care and death, there is something seriously wrong with any government in the world, particularly ours, tolerating it.”

Dr Ronald DePinho, former president of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the United States and now an executive director of the ECI, said Australia had an opportunity to inspire the world with “Tobacco 21″ legislation.

“Tobacco 21 is a child health issue that must be addressed with urgency, as hundreds of Australian children experiment with tobacco products every day,” he said.

Smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians every year, and costs taxpayers an estimated $31.5 billion in health and economic costs. These costs dwarf the revenue the Commonwealth reaps in tax revenues from cigarette sales: just over $10 billion in 2016-17.

The “Tobacco 21″ plan would save the government $3.1 billion in health and associated economic costs every year, Minderoo modelling has found. Accounting for $1.3 billion in lost tax revenue from cigarette, there would still be a $1.8 billion benefit to Australian taxpayers.

The campaign has the strong backing of the Cancer Council of Australia and the Australian Medical Association.

A March 2015 report by the US-based Institute of Medicine concluded raising the tobacco sale age to 21 would have a substantial positive impact on public health. The change would significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking and ultimately reduce smoking-related deaths.

The report predicted the change would eventually reduce the smoking rate by about 12 per cent and smoking-related deaths by 10 per cent. In the US, Hawaii and California have recently become the first states to implement Tobacco 21 laws.

The Forrest’s helped set up the ECI earlier this year with an initial $75 million in philanthropic funding – part of their record-breaking $400 million donation. It aims to bring the fragmented cancer research community together, accelerate research breakthroughs and improve prevention, detection and treatment, including access to life-saving clinical trials.