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Tasmania Seeks To Create Tobacco-Free Generation By Banning Cigarette Sales To Anyone Born After 2000

The Australian island state of Tasmania is seeking to ban young people from smoking cigarettes by preventing their sale to anyone born after the year 2000.

Tasmania, which has one of the highest rates of smoking among youth in Australia, would be the first place in the world to impose such an age-based ban.

The prohibition would take place when those people born after 2000 reach the age of 18 — thereafter, the legal age to purchase would be raised each subsequent year (meaning they would never be able to legally buy smokes ever again on Tasmanian soil).

The motion, initiated by independent MP Ivan Dean, was unanimously passed by Tasmania’s upper house. The law remains subject to approval by the lower house.

Similar measures are also being considered in Singapore and Finland.

“I think an arbitrary ban on smoking would be very difficult to police,” Michelle O’Byrne, the Tasmanian state’s health minister, told Australian media.

“However, saying that those people who sell cigarettes legally cannot sell cigarettes to a certain age is appropriate. We do it now. What the smoke-free generation would say is that, potentially, anyone from the year 2000 would not be able to buy cigarettes ever.”

Anti-smoking activists hailed the proposed ban.

“It is time for us to be aspirational in our management of our health issues,” said Simon Barnsley, a spokesman for the Cancer Council.

“It’s time we started to lead the charge against tobacco for the future of our youth and the future of our health system.”

Twenty-five percent of Tasmanian youth currently smoke, versus 20 percent for Australia as a whole, according to reports.

“This would mean that we would have a generation of people not exposed to tobacco products,” MP Dean himself told media.

“It would be easier for retailers to enforce because when they ask for ID, all they would need to see if the person was born after the year 2000. As the generation reaches 18 years, there will be fewer of them smoking, and, while some of those first turning 18 might smoke, as time goes on, fewer and fewer will.”

However, retailers were upset by the proposed measure.

“There needs to be awareness and education programs rather than throwing the book at today’s youth, said Russell Zimmerman of the Australian Retailers Association.

“It puts you back virtually into a nanny state rather than allowing consumers to make their own, informed decisions.”

Jeremy Rockliff, a spokesman for the opposition Liberal party, also blasted the motion.

“What’s next, 50 lashes for people who break the rules?” he asked.

However, another anti-smoking activist, Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney, denied that such a ban was excessive or would lead to similar prohibitions on other unhealthy products, like alcohol and fatty foods.

“The risks of smoking are just so off the table. … We started banning tobacco advertising in 1976, and there has been no other commodity where there has been anything like a serious move to do what we have done with tobacco,” he said, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Just last week, Australia’s High Court upheld a very tough law on cigarette packaging — packs would be wrapped in drab olive with no logos and feature graphic photos of the health dangers related to smoking.

In addition you need a licence to sell tobacco : (hint – HKG get your act in order !)

Apply for a Tobacco Licence

NEW! Tobacco Retailers Guide (March 2012)

Any premises selling tobacco products must have a tobacco seller’s licence. It is important that all tobacco retailers familiarise themselves with tobacco control legislation as there are penalties for breaches.

How to apply

Fill out the licence application form checking you have included:

§  the prescribed fee of $298.08 per premises

§  a copy of current photographic id which proves you are over 18 years of age (even if you are renewing your licence)

§  a list of all the premises from where you intend to sell tobacco products.

Important information for tobacco seller’s licence applicants

Send your application to: Tobacco Licensing Officer, Level 3, 25 Argyle Street, Hobart TAS 7000

Please note:


§  Only individuals, not companies, can apply for a tobacco seller’s licence.

§  You do not need to display your licence unless you are advised to do so, however, you should keep a copy of the licence on your premises.

§  You must also display approved notices

A tobacco seller’s licence expires at the end of the period specified in the licence or 12 months from the date of issue, whichever is sooner. You will be sent an application to renew before your licence expires.


The holder of a tobacco seller’s licence is required to provide information to employees about the sale and supply of tobacco products to children. This information can be provided verbally, but it is recommended that licence holders obtain written acknowledgement from employees responsible for selling tobacco products that they have been made aware that it is an offence to sell or supply tobacco or tobacco products to a child.

Want more information?

Tobacco Retailers Guide (March 2012)

Guidelines for the Sale of Tobacco

Call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

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