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January 13th, 2015:

Australia: Smoking ban on private balconies proposed for Queensland

Under proposed changes to the law, residents of Queensland may be banned from smoking on their balconies.

The proposals come after research commissioned by Queensland’s attorney general, Jarrod Bleijie, found that smoke from neighbours sometimes forced non-smokers to keep their windows and doors shut.

The Cancer Council Queensland welcomed the prospect of such a ban saying: “Almost one life is lost every day in Queensland due to second-hand smoke exposure.”

Source: The Guardian, 13 January 2015

Standardised packaging and new enlarged graphic health warnings for tobacco products in Australia

Standardised packaging and new enlarged graphic health warnings for tobacco products in Australia—legislative requirements and implementation of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard, 2011


This paper describes the development, content and implementation of two pieces of Australian tobacco control legislation: one to standardise the packaging of tobacco products and the other to introduce new, enlarged graphic health warnings. It describes the process of legislative drafting, public consultation and parliamentary consideration. It summarises exactly how tobacco products have been required to look since late 2012. Finally, it describes implementation, most particularly, the extent to which packs compliant with the legislation became available to consumers over time.

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Plain packaging: a logical progression for tobacco control in one of the world’s ‘darkest markets’


The Australian approach to tobacco control has been a comprehensive one, encompassing mass media campaigns, consumer information, taxation policy, access for smokers to smoking cessation advice and pharmaceutical treatments, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke and regulation of promotion. World-first legislation to standardise the packaging of tobacco was a logical next step to further reduce misleadingly reassuring promotion of a product known for the past 50 years to kill a high proportion of its long-term users. Similarly, refreshed, larger pack warnings which started appearing on packs at the end of 2012 were a logical progression of efforts to ensure that consumers are better informed about the health risks associated with smoking. Regardless of the immediate effects of legislation, further progress will continue to require a comprehensive approach to maintain momentum and ensure that government efforts on one front are not undermined by more vigorous efforts and greater investment by tobacco companies elsewhere.

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Has the introduction of plain packaging with larger graphic health warnings changed adolescents’ perceptions of cigarette packs and brands?

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Use of illicit tobacco following introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products in Australia

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Changes in use of types of tobacco products by pack sizes and price segments, prices paid and consumption

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Short-term changes in quitting-related cognitions and behaviours after the implementation of plain packaging with larger health warnings

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ACSH attacks American Cancer Society, good evidence that ACS is doing something right on e-cigs

The American Cancer Society has clearly hit a nerve of e-cigarette/tobacco interests by working to block industry Trojan Horse bills that use nominal restrictions on e-cigarette sales to kids to get industry-friendly definitions of e-cigarettes written into law that make it harder to regulate use of and tax e-cigarettes.

The most recent evidence that ACS is doing the right thing is a broadly worded attack in a blog published on The Hill, which is read by DC insiders, by the American Council on Science and Health’s Gilbert Ross. Ross complains that, “The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network’s roams the country to wherever a bill is proposed that would ban the sale of ecigs to minors — if such a bill also carves out a non-tobacco-product status for them.”

Ross and ACSH have been aggressively promoting e-cigarettes while taking money from cigarette companies who, if you believe e-cigarette advocates, would be threatened by e-cigarettes and would want to stop them. Big tobacco money to ACSH includes $100,000 from RJ Reynolds in 2013 and $25,000 from Philip Morris in 2012. Between 2012 and 2013 ACSH expected contributions from PM for $25,000, RJR: $100,000, Swedish Match $40,000, Philip Morris International: $100,000, Lorillard: $25,000, BAT: $25,000, The Safe Cig: $50,000, with new projects including collaboration with Roy Anise of e-cigarette company NJOY