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health groups the Heart Foundation and ASH Australia today welcomed
the unanimous endorsement of plain tobacco packaging by a House of
Representatives inquiry and urged the Parliament to end the delay over
passing the bills.
health groups urged all political parties to get on with ending the
tobacco industry’s marketing of death in glossy boxes following the
lengthy public consultation and parliamentary inquiry.
The inquiry held by the
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing took
evidence from the community, health experts and the tobacco industry,
receiving 63 distinct submissions - and almost 1000 near identical
e-mails opposing the legislation.
bipartisan committee examined the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011
and the Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011 and
“Having considered the evidence placed before the Committee, and
having comprehensively examined the arguments made on matters relating
to the health implications of the proposed legislation, the Committee
recommends that the House of Representative pass the bills”.
The committee report
warned against complacency, saying:
smoking accounts for over 15,000 premature deaths in Australia each
year. It is the single largest cause of preventable morbidity and
mortality. Although Australia has made significant progress in
reducing tobacco use over the last two decades, and has shown itself
to be a world leader in this regard, this is no room for complacency.
Australia needs to continue to innovate if it is to maintain the
momentum and decrease tobacco use further. By supporting passage of
the proposed tobacco plain packaging legislation, Australia will once
again be in a position to take the lead in the implementation of
progressive tobacco control measures, a role it has willingly taken in
Anne Jones, ASH Chief Executive: “There’s been aggressive
opposition from the tobacco industry to this health policy, but it’s
now time for all parties to end this powerful form of tobacco
inquiry report at www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/haa/billtobaccopackage/report.htm
Page last updated 22/8/11