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AMA Push For Tobacco Licence Scheme

The Age – Marc Moncrief – April 28, 2008

MILK bars, supermarkets and petrol stations are among business that would be subject to a new licence under a plan to harvest more than $20 million for the state from the sale of tobacco.

The Australian Medical Association, in its submission to the state budget, suggests the sale of tobacco should be licensed by the state. It suggests a licensing fee of $1000, to be increased by $250 a year.

“Vendors which currently sell small amounts of tobacco would baulk at the cost of a licence to sell tobacco, and would remove themselves from the market,” the submission says. “Small-volume tobacco vendors often are the only choices available after hours, at convenience stores and service stations. Some of these vendors would prefer to forgo the limited sales they have from tobacco than pay a licence fee.”

Australian Retailers Association executive director Richard Evans said that the initiative might be well intentioned but probably would not work. Mr Evans said it was likely that cigarette companies would pay licence fees and help retailers with compliance as part of supply arrangements.

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