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MP Introduces Bill To Ban Youth Smoking

ABC News – June 13, 2008

Nationals’ MP Damien Drum is pushing to change Victoria’s smoking laws.

He introduced a bill into State Parliament yesterday to make it unlawful for people under the age of 18 to smoke and buy or sell cigarettes.

The proposed legislation would also ban marketing tobacco to young people.

Mr Drum says about 90 per cent of smokers started when they were teenagers.

“Whilst the smoking rates are coming down they’re not coming down fast enough,” he said.

“We’ve got something like 50 young Victorians everyday are starting smoking, it’s just far too many.

“Half of those are going to become committed full-time smokers.”

Mr Drum says the proposed legislation has been formed after years of discussion and research.

“Well currently there’s no restriction on youth at all, there’s no minimum age for them to smoke, there’s no offence if they continue to try to obtain cigarettes by purchasing them,” he said.

“The onus currently is on the retailer to not supply them.

“So what we’re going to do is share that responsibility between the youth themselves.”

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