Victorian retailers found selling fruit-flavoured cigarettes could face fines up to $71,000 from today after the State Government implemented a ban order on the products effective Thursday July 1, 2010.
Acting Executive Director of Quit, Luke Atkin, applauded the legislation saying the products were a blatant move by some tobacco companies to target children.
"Cancer Council Victoria research shows many older high school students are curious to try cigarettes if they are fruit-flavoured, while more than a third of this age group who are current smokers have already tried them."
"This information demonstrates why the government needed to implement this ban. Fruit-flavoured cigarettes are aimed at encouraging young people to take up smoking and getting them hooked for life," Mr Atkin said.
"The fancy apple, lemon - even chocolate - flavours of these products cover up the foul, harsh tastes normally associated with smoking, which makes them appealing to new tobacco users."
"As traditional avenues to attract customers close, the tobacco industry is always looking at new ways to attract users. It's good this particular deadly pitch is ending today."
Notes to Editors:
- The latest Victorian Secondary Students' Alcohol and Drug survey shows 46% of 16 and 17-year-old girls and 31% of boys the same age agreed that lolly or fruit flavoured cigarettes made them curious to try smoking. 39% of current 16 and 17-year-old smokers said they had tried fruit-flavoured cigarettes.
- Fruit-flavoured cigarettes are tobacco cigarettes with additives that make them taste like specific fruits.
- The ACT, Tasmania, NSW and South Australia have already a banned the sale of fruit-flavoured cigarettes.
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