Federal Labor promises $63m on anti-smoking, lung cancer action plan

The federal opposition has pledged to target smokers with a new campaign encouraging them to kick the habit, if it wins the federal election.

Labor has revealed a plan to cut the smoking rate, with funding to tackle smoking and lung cancer.

The $63.4 million plan will aim to reduce cancer cases across Australia, while also going towards providing more support for people with lung cancer.

Labor will spend $40 million over four years to reboot an anti-smoking campaign in a bid to push the smoking rate below 10 per cent.

It also plans to spend $15 million on helping the Lung Foundation boost lung cancer nurses nationally from seven to 20, to improve care.

The foundation would also receive $2.4 million over three years to roll out a campaign raising awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer.

$6 million will be provided to an organisation over three years that aims to eliminate tobacco from investment portfolios.

The funding is part of a $2.3 billion fund proposed by Bill Shorten to improve cancer treatment and services.

Labor’s funding came after the federal government pledged it would spend $4 million on a national strategic action plan for chronic lung conditions.

Tobacco smoking currently remains the leading preventable cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of cancer.

About 12,470 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2018, with about 12.2 per cent of Australians smoking daily.

Cancer Council CEO Sanchia Aranda said it was a significant investment against smoking and tobacco-related cancer.

“Reminding smokers of the harms they are doing to their health with a renewed national tobacco campaign will back up the excise regime and could get drops in smoking prevalence back on track,” Ms Aranda said.

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