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Continued efforts necessary to reduce youth smoking rates

Monday 8 December, 2003

A comprehensive and sustained effort is necessary to ensure that smoking rates amongst young Victorians fall further, Quit Victoria says.

Quit Executive Director Todd Harper says while a report released today by The Cancer Council Victoria found there has been a promising fall in the number of young Victorians smoking, a comprehensive range of measures are necessary to achieve further reductions.

""The Victorian community can't afford to be complacent in light of these results. The fact remains that smoking kills 13 Victorians every day.""

""Eight out of ten new smokers are under 18, and the younger a person starts smoking, the more likely they are to become heavy smokers in adulthood. This increases their risks of suffering one of the many illnesses caused by smoking.""

Quit has proposed the following measures to push youth smoking rates lower:

  • Banning the display of tobacco products in shops;
  • Greater investment in quitting campaigns on television; and
  • Smokefree legislation covering all public places.

Mr Harper says introducing measures such as placing cigarettes out of sight in shops and continuing quit smoking campaigns aimed at adults are important components to achieve further changes in the number of young Victorians who are smoking.

“If we want to further decrease the number of students smoking, we need to consider measures like removing cigarettes from display in shops and ensure they are sold from 'under the counter'.”

“This weakens the cigarette packet as a marketing tool, and therefore reduces environmental prompts to smoke, especially for young people who frequently purchase items such as drinks and confectionary from shops.”

“It’s also important that we maintain or increase quit smoking campaigns aimed at adults – this has a 'two for one’ effect; if fewer adults smoke, there is a flow on effect to younger people.”

Mr Harper said smokefree public places are also a vital step.

“By establishing smokefree as the norm in our state, we send ing a powerful message on smoking to young people.

Further information:
Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager

Click here to access the report by The Cancer Council Victoria

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