Improving community health and reducing tobacco exposure to children is at the forefront of the State Government’s introduction of new laws to reduce tobacco-related harm on Monday March 18th.
Amendments to the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 will give WA same of the toughest tobacco laws in the country, especially with regards to protecting children.
Health Minister, Roger Cook, said in the last decade WA has made significant progress on reducing the terrible toll of death and disease caused by tobacco, however we know that more can be done.
“These latest legislative reforms form part of the McGowan Government’s approach to improving public health, reducing smoking rates and encouraging Western Australians to adopt healthier lifestyles,” he said.
Review and analysis by health authorities, and consultation with relevant stakeholders will result in the Department of Health having a six month lead in period, allowing people to ease into the new laws.
Reforms include: Shopping reward schemes are not allowed to include tobacco purchases, the sale of fruit- and confectionery-flavoured cigarettes and split-pack cigarettes are banned/outlawed, and tobacco licences will not be issued for the sale of tobacco products at sporting, cultural or other events, such as music festivals or market stalls.
Updated health warnings must be displayed next to where tobacco information or price signage is publicly displayed, tobacco price information signs or price boards will be reduced in size to no larger than A4, and specialist tobacco retailers are no longer allowed to display tobacco products or smoking implements where they can be seen from a public place outside the premises.
Smoking is not allowed within five metres of a public entrance to an enclosed public place, and within 10 metres of air conditioning intakes, and enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Transport and local councils are able to appoint restricted investigators following guidelines issued by the Director General of the Department of Health.
From September 18, 2020, it will be illegal for children under the age of 18 to sell tobacco products in retail outlets, with these new provisions doing more to protect children from exposure to tobacco products.