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Members of Parliament must pass plain packaging legislation

Wednesday 6 July, 2011
 

Quit has urged MPs not to let tobacco industry bully-boy tactics dissuade them from implementing a measure that will help continue to drive down smoking rates in Australia.

The call comes as the plain packaging bill goes before parliament today.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said although parliamentarians from both sides of politics had committed to supporting the bill, it was obvious the tobacco companies weren't going to give in without a fight.

"Cigarette packaging is the single most important advertising tool the tobacco companies have, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep it. I'd urge all Members of Parliament to stick to their guns and continue to support this important reform that will make tobacco less attractive to young people."

"Although the tobacco industry is threatening legal action over this bill, we cannot let our eyes be taken off the final goal: to implement a policy that will strip cigarettes of their desirability and go towards saving some of the 15 thousand lives lost to tobacco every year."

Ms Sharkie said the importance of packaging in attracting new smokers couldn't be underestimated.

"Research shows plain packaging will make smoking less attractive, especially to young people. Anything we can do to take desirability away from a product that kills one in every two long-term users is a good thing."

"Our legal advice on plain packaging echoes that of the federal government's: That plain packaging is on very solid ground."

"The tobacco industry has a record of misleading the public to protect their profits, and it's no different with plain packaging. I'd urge all politicians to pledge their continued support to plain packaging by supporting the legislation."

 

Jessica Longbottom,
Media Coordinator
ph: (03) 9635 5498
mob: 0421 155 028
email:
Jessica.Longbottom@cancervic.org.au

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